leaping lepidoptera!

Here we are, moving from Spring towards Summer up here in the Northern Hemisphere. The days are getting longer, the trees are getting leafier, and the bugs are coming out in force. Excitingly for many small people, this includes large numbers of caterpillars. Around here, we get lots of Eastern tent caterpillars, fairly big brown hairy things with patterns of black stripes and blue dots. It is not uncommon to hear a gleeful cry of “I found a cater-pidder!” from Ms. Phoebe.

This army of furry future moths¹ has inspired this week’s moth ThThTh list.²

  1. Arthur: The Tick‘s sidekick. Wears a white moth suit in the comics, cartoon and live action TV show.
  2. Gypsy Moth, a moth character from A Bug’s Life voiced by Madeline Kahn
  3. Luna Moth, a fictional comic book character from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon. That is to say, the fictional characters in the novel created a comic book character named Luna Moth, a mothy superhero. (I just saw that there is going to be a movie based on the book. It was a really good book by the way. You should read it.)
  4. The giant luna moth from Dr. Dolittle. Carries Dr. Dolittle back to England at the end of the movie. (I’m not sure if the moth is in any of the books.)
  5. Mothra/Mosura: a (fictional) giant moth monster. Fought with Godzilla in a few movies, like Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) and Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
  6. Silence of the Lambs (1991). The serial killer in the movie raises imported Death’s-head hawk moths, which are noteworthy for the skull-like pattern that appears on their back. The moths shown in the movie were apparently actually another type of moth, in costume.
  7. silk A fabric. The fibers come from silk worms, which are actually caterpillars of a moth that is now completely domesticated. The cocoons are boiled to unravel the long, continuous strand of silk produced by the catepillar. The boiling must happen before the moth emerges, as the moth would otherwise make a hole, making the fibers too short.
  8. Boiled silkworms are eaten in some places in the world. In Korea, it’s called beondegi
  9. The Moth, an episode of Lost.⁴
  10. The Moth, by Aimee Mann. A song:
  11. Bedtime for Frances, by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Garth Williams. A picturebook about a little badger who has trouble going to sleep, and imagines all sorts of possible dangers and adventures. It ends with her deciding that a moth going “bump and thump” against her bedroom window is not a real threat, so she goes to sleep.

¹ Can I mention that I have a bit of a moth phobia? Maybe I’ll share it later.

² I was going to include butterflies, too, but the list was getting out of hand, and I do need to get some work done tonight. Also sleep. So perhaps butterflies will flutter back this way next week or so.

³ A friend of mine from college was somewhat scarred by having tried them as a child when visiting Korea. There was a certain kind of carob-flavored soymilk I got which she couldn’t stomach, as the flavor reminded her of beondegi.

⁴ I’ve never actually seen Lost…

10 thoughts on “leaping lepidoptera!

  1. Oh, thank you for putting Arthur first … I love The Tick! It remains on my list of favorite cartoons.

    I have a whole crazy, Jamaican moth story … but maybe I won’t share it until I hear more about your phobia!

  2. I loved the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and I’m so excited to hear there will be a movie!

    Also, I played “mote the fairy” in my college production of Midsummer Night’s Dream.

  3. i always learned more than i ever intended to when perusing one of your lists. all hail the wiki. i am ever so intrigued at the naming of death’s head moths via the demi-goddesses of fate (clotho, lachesis, atropos), i.e., those that measure and cut your thread of life.

    but *moth* phobia? do share!

  4. girlgriot-
    The Tick was a great cartoon. Spoon!
    My phobia has been diminishing over the years, so perhaps I will be able to tolerate your crazy Jamaican moth tale.

    Yes, you do have a penchant for the lepidoptera yourself, don’t you.

    I consider myself duly warned. But wear does the path lead?

    Yes, those are pretty scary. I maybe would prefer to forget about them…

    Ah, “moth the fairy.” A fine addition to the list. I hadn’t remembered that character.

    It’s easy to lose time in those wiki pages, isn’t it?
    And as for the moth phobia, I’ll try to share soon. It’s not a terribly exciting story, though. (Perhaps I can make up a more dramatic version.)

    Me neither, my friend. Me neither.

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