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.