Have you seen this chrysalis laying on the ground and wondered who might have emerged from it?
Rain Moth larvae emerge from the ground when rain is expected and metamorphosize into these huge brown, grey and white moths which we see fluttering or resting near our outdoor night lights.
The caterpillars live in tunnels underground and forage on native plant roots. They live in the soil for many years before becoming an adult Rain moth.
They’re known as ‘rain moths’ as they’re able to predict rainfall and usually emerge together once a year in Autumn when rain is forecasted.
Rain moths have one mission once they’ve emerged from the ground and that is to mate and lay eggs. Apparently, the female can hold up to 44,000 eggs which are thought to be deposited in flight around gum trees where the eggs will hatch and the larvae will burrow underground to feed on roots.
They’re great fishing bait for the Murray Cod and a juicy meal for many hungry predators.
Autumn is a time to study moths as many species emerge in cool, wet weather with the same mission in mind.
We found the above moth on our kitchen wall. We seized the opportunity to practice our macro photography skills. I love the patterns and the blue ‘eye.’
Moths can be quite beautiful to observe and it’s a great time to stop and appreciate the little things.
We found this little moth laying on the floor. I wonder if it’s a female who’s just finished laying eggs?
Moths make wonderful nature journal subjects. I chose to draw and paint the ‘Rain Moth’ in my backyard nature journal.
I also added a moth species list on the right which I need to update.
Attract moths by leaving an outdoor night light on and perhaps hang a white sheet near the light and see what wonders flutter to your backyard.
Have you started your backyard nature journal yet? What have you noticed in your backyard recently?
Why not study the Emperor Gum Moth in the Summer/Autumn Nature Study Guide and allow me to walk along side you as you investigate moths?
The study of nature nurtures an appreciation for all of creation and it is a life long hobby enjoyed not just by children, but adults too.
If we long to inspire and motivate our children to explore outdoors, then we need to be leading the way by wandering outdoors with awe and appreciation along side them.
“Our constant care must be to secure that they do look, and listen, touch, and smell; and the way to this is by sympathetic action on our part: what we look at they will look at” (Parents and Children, pp. 192, 193).
In my workshop, at the Australian Homeschooling Summit, I talk about how children are inspired and motivated to enjoy nature as they watch mother or father take joy in the great outdoors by learning how to observe, identify species, photograph and nature journal.
Lead the way and SHOW the children how to embrace the study of nature as you walk this journey and then invite them to join you. You’ll be making memories that’ll last a lifetime as the passion you ignited within them continues to burn through the years.
If you’re not sure where to start or just need some inpiration to get motivated, then consider coming along virtually to my workshop, Embrace Nature Study Effortlessly at the Australian Homeschooling Summit that starts 4th May 2020.