At first glance I surely did think this was a leaf; albeit an interesting but strange one. Doesn't it look just like a leaf?
Upon closer inspection I could clearly see it was a moth. We leave outside lights on during the night so all sorts of cool and interesting moths are attracted to the lights. This was one of them. Luna moths are another common moth we find outside in the mornings. I have posted on luna moths before as well as leopard and milkweed tussock moths. Moths are the nighttime counterparts to the beautiful butterflies we see during the daytime.
This one had some amazing colors and patterns. I had to research it to discover its identity.
It is an Imperial Moth. Adults do not feed and it is possible this one was at the end of its life by this point. The caterpillars feed on multiple host plants including: box elder, sassafras, oaks, maples, and even the Colorado spruce. We have all these trees on our land except the Colorado spruce.
We find all wildlife pretty fascinating....
in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden