Big moth creates big stir at courthouse

A female cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), the largest moth in North America, according to the National Wildlife Federation, attracted attention Monday morning when it lighted on one of the stone pillars at the Justice Center and stayed there for at least half an hour, according to Randy Ballard, a court security officer.

Ballard said the moth is a reminder there is still beauty to be found amidst all the ugliness seen lately.

The NWF website says the giant silk moth, which can have a wingspan of 5 to 7 inches, has a reddish body and brown and black wings. It is nocturnal and lives in hardwood forests in Canada and the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains.

The caterpillars feed on leaves, but the adult moths have no functioning mouths and don’t eat at all, so they only live for a couple of weeks.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at

email author More by Randy