Monday, July 30, 2012

Remember David the Goliath?

Our goliath worm started out like this:


Then he chrysalized:


The next day, the chrysalis turned dark brown, and the waiting and worrying began...


We periodically misted the coconut fiber substrate in the critter cage, and waited over three weeks until finally, at about 1 am one night, Kev noticed some motion in the cage. A moth with extremely droopy wings emerged and frantically began searching for a place to perch to dry its wings. We stuck a twig in the cage, and David climbed up and hung suspended upside down from the underside.


About an hour later, David crawled to the topside of the twig and remained perched there until we released him (or her) the following evening. Moths are nocturnal, so we figured releasing David in the evening hours made sense, since that is his normal active time, and since there are fewer predators to snap him up for lunch out and about after dark.

As I removed the twig, the cage door jarred the moth and an orange liquid seeped out of it. I was upset to think we might have injured poor David. But then, as I tried to get a better look, he shot a stream of the orange fluid at me. Ah, defense mechanism! We proceeded with the release, after saying a fond farewell.


I placed the twig on a bush in our garden and we watched and waited. Moments later, David flew onto our fence and perched there for a minute or two before flying off to live his life in the wild. He hovered and the motion of his wings made a buzzing sound, like a fuzzy mini helicopter.




Good luck, David, and thanks for the souvenier of our time together!


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