Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nothing Artificial about it.

This beauty was first spotted by me at our old office. For the better part of an hour I refused to believe that it was real. Working for a film company, I have had a fair share of pranks played on me. This I thought was a decorative piece attached to the wall and that my colleagues had put it up to test my knowledge on nature. Till they swore that they had nothing to do with this and after I checked the internet and came across a picture of the same did I believe this beauty was for real. The most striking part of this was the transparent circles in its wings. If observed well, the colour of the wall and the window pane on which it is perched can be seen. Another thing about this was that it was still like a statue and there was no movement visible to our eyes. As usual my camera was not handy.

I went out after putting two of my colleagues to watch over it and got a digital camera from a nearby studio. It took all of 20 minutes for me to return with the digital camera. By that time the moth had flown on to the parapet of our office verandah. The sheer contrast of the parapet green along with the striking gold of the moth were a visible treat. I could see the legs of the moth and the small quivering antennae. Again there was no movement, and I had to be assured by my colleagues that it was alive and had flown the distance by itself. I clicked quite a few shots with the moth like this and went to the internet and read more about the moth.

This beauty is called as The Chinese Oak Silkworm Moth is found in China and neighbouring countries. This one is a female and for a few hours was motionless , making us believe that it is a unreal one. Later on , we found to our surprise that this female was about to lay eggs. During this period the moths becomes motionless and clings to a rough surface to lay eggs. The insect measured 9 inches from tip tip of wingspan. That it was about to lay eggs is seen from the beside picture showing its belly bloated. This was confirmed in a couple of days with the whole of our office steps strewn with its eggs. The whole of the afternoon was spent in following the moth till it finally rested under our staircase in a small ledge. The striking thing for me in this photograph is that the moth looks like a small powered glider readying for take-off. Nothing artificial about it though.