I’ve been waiting to see one of these guys since I was seven years old and my classmate brought one of the caterpillars to school for show and tell. I could never even find a caterpillar. It’s an Emperor Gum moth, introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1939. The adults live for only two weeks, without feeding, just to mate and lay eggs.
I nearly missed him, even though his wingspan was nearly the length of my outstretched hand. He was lurking on a footpath at the base of a wall. I was there again the next day but he was gone.
This is an amazing planet. I’m so happy to live on it.