Wow That’s Big! Auburn Woman Encounters Massive Moth
While Maine may not have the number of enormous creepy-crawly insects and critters that, say, a place like Arizona or even Australia has, every once in a while we do get some big bugs.
A nature-loving Auburn woman shared some encounters she had with some mammoth moths.
Rhyanna Larose is all about nature, you could say.
"I'm a registered nurse by trade but my passion and hobbies are always nature and teaching nature to others," she said. "I'm always out teaching kids to fish, hike, kayak, identify ferns, plant trees, garden, etc."
You can find Larose tending to her property in Androscoggin County when she's not working her shift.
"I have been studying and playing with bugs for over 40 years and I cultivate and work towards harboring native pollinators on my property. I have thousands of square feet of vegetables, perennials, wildflowers, and native trees to help Maines ecosystem thrive."
It's no wonder, then, that she should attract an array of interesting insects to her home. She had one big bug visit her not too long ago that's bigger than any moth I've ever seen. And she was able to snap this picture of it:
Here's what she said to say in writing about the huge find:
Giant silk moth, close to 8 inches wide, he's a big guy!!! 'Polyphemus Moths have 2 cycles normally in early Spring and late summer... He has his calendar a bit mixed up and way larger than normal! At first, I thought it was a bird landing on my head... lol... almost gave me a heart attack! Huge!!! This is the largest specimen, I have ever seen. The chair leg is over 3 inches wide for reference.. so he may actually be more than 8 inches wide.
Larose says it was about noon when her huge visitor arrived.
"I was just outside, tending to the gardens, and 'swoop' this huge shadow of a creature coming from the tall oak trees, tried to land on my head. At first, I thought it was a bird, and its shadow was enormous, I panicked to swat at it, instantly ... and then, as it fluttered to a lawn chair, I realized it was a giant silk moth. It was tired and groggy, hung out on lawn chair leg for about 10 minutes till my cat came by to sniff it, then it fluttered up into oak tree canopy 20 feet or so."
Larose says this is not the first time an enormous moth has landed at her place.
"Here is a 6-plus inch Luna moth at my house in Auburn last year," she said.
Larose says large moths are not unusual here in Maine. In fact, she's come across a Royal Moth, "another form of silk Moth Cecropia" which she says is likely one of Maine's largest, "easily at times pushing 10 inches!"
Larose says she has a deep respect for the winged wildlife in her neck of the woods.
"I'm drawn to nature, even as a child. ... I have always had an immense appreciation for wildlife, yes, even bugs! All forms of nature are important to our coexistence on this planet. Insects play a vital role in our ability to thrive on Earth. We need them to balance Mother Earth, to pollinate our crops, to feed the birds and bats, to eat the parasites, and to keep the cycle of nature turning. There are 8 billion people on earth, non of which could eat, live or thrive without insects who undoubtedly outweigh all humans on this planet by a factor of 100 times."
It's nice to know that where others may have swatted and fled, there are folks such as Larose who appreciate the unconventional beauty of the world around us.