Rain Forests and Cloud Forests

 

  There are many other spectacular Saturniid moths besides the Automeris moths of the previous page. Most are very large moths with big furry bodies and prominent feathery antennae, and they often have transparent "windows" on their wings. The wings are usually large for the size of the body, and their flight is weak. They do not eat as adults.

 

 

   Among the most spectacular sights in all of nature is the richly textured Rothschildia moth. This species was photographed at the San Isidro private cloud forest reserve near Cosanga, Ecuador. The species at the top of the page is  at La Selva Jungle Lodge in the lowlands of eastern Ecuador.

 

 

    As a painter I was fascinated by the textures and colors of this species of Rothschilda, one of the first I had seen of this genus. By painting it I was able to experience every wing scale, every delicious pattern. I spent an entire week immersed in the work/pleasure of capturing this thing in oils.

 

   Another surprising Saturniid genus is Copiopteryx. This one has tails almost a foot long. It flies like a kite, gliding, dipping, and diving so suddenly and erratically that no hungry bird could catch it.

 

Rain Forests and Cloud Forests