Hyalophora cecropia Giant Silk Moth


My roommate Stephen Steward rescued a torn cocoon from the University of Arkansas farm over the winter. He brought it home and wrapped it in toilet paper, then placed it in our refrigerator. Stephen took it out a few months later and let it warm. It was pretty disgusting to witness my roommate pet a giant pupa. The abdomen would rotate in counterclockwise as he cuddled with the dark brown thing. Anyway, last week I noticed something strange in our mailbox - it was the cecropia moth! She had emerged from the cocoon and was ready to spread her wings and fly! (I have no idea how she got in the mailbox.) Minutes later, I realized that her wings were not unfolding and drying. It seems that I had discovered the moth too late, and she would not recover. However, she did do something very strange. I believe she laid an egg, but I'm not sure how that is possible considering that she did not find her mate.

Notice the egg

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