Joel Szymczyk writes, August 9, 2008, "Last night I saw a caterpillar in the glare of my merc light in the back yard. It was obviously >Eacles imperialis. It was on one of the ornamental junipers which were planted before I moved here. I pretty much hate those trees and have been seriously thinking about chopping them all down. They are fairly infested with "bagworm" moths, and one tree was completely killed this year by them. Anyhow I was very surprised to see this eating juniper because there are so many decent oaks to choose from.
"Not five minutes later, I saw an adult Eacles hanging in one of the junipers. Definitely a female, and it was ovipositing. This has to be one of the most massive moths in the eastern USA. Cecropia certainly has larger wing area, but the body of this imperialis is just huge. I guess I'll keep the trees, but I have to figure out how to get rid of the bagworms."
Manduca sexta Rehobeth, Houston County, Alabama,
eating habanero pepper (Capsicum chinense), September 9, 2008, courtesy of Joel Szymczyk.