As November begins, we enter stick season, surrounded by the bare
twigs of deciduous trees and shrubs. However, the lack of leaves reveals other jewels, if you know where to look for them—giant silk moth cocoons.
Giant silk moths (Saturniidae) are massive by moth standards, including the well-known Luna Moth (Actias luna). In Vermont, five species in this group have been recorded: Luna Moth, Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus), Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia), Promethea Moth (Callosamia promethea), and Columbia Moth (Hyalophora columbia). These species overwinter as pupa, wrapped snugly in their silken cocoons.
This November, the Vermont Atlas of Life
is asking you all to join our
Cocoon Watch on iNaturalist and help us find and
photographing giant silk moth cocoons. Learn more about the project at https://val.vtecostudies.org/missions/cocoon-watch/ and join us on iNaturalist at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/vermont-giant-silk-moth-cocoon-watch