Starling Travel

June 10, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: The South and Giant Bugs

Filed under: Arkansas,Camping,Oklahoma,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Growing up in Utah, I was a bug-lovin’ girl. I caught every kind of bug that inhabited our neighborhood. When Mike was a kid, he went so far as to have a fully stocked terrarium with pill bugs (armadillidiidae) and plenty of food for them to eat. The terrarium was such a healthy environment for them, they reproduced. Tons of tiny, white baby pill bugs grew to adulthood under Mike’s care.

So, both of us were fascinated by the lovely variety of insects available in the South. We’ve already talked about the Oklahoma Fireflies on our trip, but the day we left, we were swarmed with a huge variety of butterflies and moths.

The first, we saw at the gas station in Oklahoma right before we left the next morning. I believe it’s a Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus). There was something the matter with him because he could barely fly and let me take a photo of him.

Giant Polyphemus Moth

I wish I had taken a picture with my hand near him so you could see how large this moth was. His wingspan was easily eight inches wide.

There were also several bright blue butterflies at that same gas station, but they were all dead and Mike said it’s creepy to take pictures of dead things, so stop being weird.

This moth was at our campsite in Little Rock, Arkansas. He wasn’t dead or anything, ’cause that’d be creepy (yes, he was, but don’t tell Mike, okay?). I haven’t been able to identify him yet.

Brown Moth Arkansas

If you recognize this moth, please leave a comment, telling me its species.

I loved the variety of insects to see in the southern states because so many of them weren’t poisonous. In Utah or Nevada, we have lots of big bugs, but half of them are arachnids that want to kill me and the other half are beetles that want to squirt stinky stuff on me. Fluffy butterflies and magical light up bugs were a wonderful change of pace.

P.S. During the entire trip, neither of us were bitten by ticks, although I did find one trying to climb into our trailer.

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