This is my first visit here, probably the first of many, since I have many species to identify!
The first is a regular resident of my back yard in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Mt. Washington. It's a large black caterpillar that comes out at night to feed on what I assume is native flora. I have seen as many as five or six at a time in a good (wet) year, but the last couple of years have literally seen only one at a time. Note the ant in the lower left for scale:
A couple of years ago, I brought one home and kept it in a terrarium until it pupated and hatched. I have a picture of the cocoon, but can't post more than 2 links right now. It was dark brownish-red, with strands of silk that looked to anchor it to the ground, with the empty body on top.
It turned into this very pretty moth:
Unfortunately, it beat up its wings a little, as it took me some time to realize it had hatched. It was released at night.
I had a possible ID at one point on another website, but I didn't follow up with them, and have a lot of trouble searching there for my old thread. Found this place, and thought I'd give it a shot. As I say, I have many more species questions, but I'll just start with this one. Many thanks in advance.