Imperial Moth Watercolor Sketch

Imperial Moth watercolor

That’s what I said when a co-worker walked into work with this dead beauty in his hands. WOW….it’s HUGE…over 5 inches wide! 
He found it, already expired, in the grass and because he knows I’m a nut for nature he let me keep it.
This imperial moth is really soft. The wings and body feel like suede. You can see  individual little hairs on the body. I think this is a female because the images I found for males have larger brown patches on the wings.

There may be a puncture wound on its back. Perhaps a bird caught it, dropped it, and then had to leave the scene? Well, I can celebrate its life by painting it in my journal and learning as much as I can about the imperial moth.


Here is the photo. You can see the tattered wing and the black on the back is a tiny hole.

This big treasure from the sky will live on in watercolors.


  1. Watching Seasons: (cool name, btw!!) Yes, very wonderful indeed and I was so excited to actually hold it in my hands…what an awesome creature.

    Alanna: Thank you! such an awesome moth (the real thing, I mean)!!!

  2. I just found a LIVE female imperial moth today! She has been very calmly hanging out on my hand, plant, and front of my shirt all morning! I put her in a paper bag to take a break (change clothes, take a shower) and hope that will keep her calm–and maybe even encourage her to lay a few eggs! She’s a beauty–I’ve already taken tons of pix of her.

  3. Thanks! I know that my finding an Imperial moth was a once in a lifetime experience. The moth was beautiful even after she died, but she was more so when she was alive–so I hope you get to find a live one and paint it! However, I love your watercolor–looks very much like “my moth”.

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