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.