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Monday Creature Feature: from “Monster” to Marvelous Moth

July 28, 2014
This post and photos are courtesy of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Ranger Jay Robinson. We like to call him Papa Pulelehua. 
vampire bat or chrysalis?

Chrysalis of the endemic carnivorous caterpillar, Eupithecia. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

If you have been following our series of photos of the carnivorous caterpillar from crawling attacker, to her little “crystal-bliss” chrysalis (reminding us of a bat or vampire hanging upside down from a branch), you’ll love to learn that she emerged from dormancy this weekend.
Newly emerged moth

Beautiful baby perfectly disguised on ‘ōhi‘a. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

She is a  soooo beautiful as an adult moth! With only a 3/4 inch wing span, this tiny endemic moth (Eupithecia orichloris) is only found in Hawai‘i and we love her! True to her hunter childhood as a voracious carnivore that blends in perfectly with her rainforest habitat, she sports a beautiful camouflaged body and wings.
She is now free-flying female in the national park! You go, girl!
where am I?

Now you see me, now you don’t. Impressive camouflage of Eupithecia orichloris. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Intrigued? Be sure to see our previous post about this Monstrous Inchworms of the Hawaiian Rainforest for more photos and a video of this same moth’s carnivorous caterpillar stage.

 

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