Friday, April 27, 2012

Still Waiting

Towards the end of last summer, on one of those laze-about-down-by-the river-on-the-hammock days, I came across a beautifully patterned black and white cocoon pasted onto a cherry twig. In that day's post, Waiting, I merely labeled the cocoon "cocoon" and the spider "crab spider," not knowing much more about either one. But both were clearly waiting. The former for its occupant to emerge; the latter for me to leave it the hell alone.

And I didn't know it at the time — but would soon after — that I too was entering a period of waiting, for my own moth to emerge, a dragon baby, whom I wait for still.

And today, at the library — my interest in insects recently aroused by an entomology blog that I stumbled across called Beetles in the Bush — I picked up a couple of gorgeous insect photography books which I carted home. Later flipping through one of them leisurely (Insects: On the Move for 400 Million Years) I came across my cocoon, the little black and white watermelon pasted onto a notch on a twig.

The waiting was over, I had a positive ID: iraga, or Monema flavescens, a species of slug moth in the Limacodidae family, who, from what I can gather, is a bit of a pest in its larval form.

In addition to being found in Japan, Korean, China, and Taiwan, it is also native to Umur, Ussuri, Askold and Quelpart (delightfully obscure places all — none of which I have ever heard.)

So I'll keep waiting, and maybe someday soon I'll find the little yellow moth, the bottom of whose brown wings mimic the veins of leaves.


  1. Having your 'Butterfly' in the year of the Dragon is considered very lucky. You probably already know this.

  2. His Chinese grandpa has told us as much.