For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lunar Moth

This moth was so amazing that I took a whole lot of pictures to share with you.
It belongs to the Emperor Moth family and as you can see here, is bigger than my hand.
Aren't the colors amazing? What a cute one!!
He kept on climbing up on my hand for some reason but this allowed me to get some stunning shots of them. Enlarge them to see better.
It had the most amazing antennaes with the longest tail I have ever seen in a moth or butterfly species.
At average temperatures of about 25°C eggs hatch after 10.9 days, and the first to fifth larval instars are completed in means of 5.6, 4.2, 3.4, 5.8 and 14.1 days respectively.
The pupal stage lasts 6–12 weeks in summer and 5–8 months in winter. The African lunar moth completes two generations per year.
Marula trees are attacked during the months October to December and February to March when most of the larvae are in their fourth and fifth instar.
And back he goes, this time climbing up my arm.

28 comments:

Firefly said...

Oh wow. Now that is one big draconian moth. He really is beautiful.

Friend of HK said...

This month is so unique! Beautiful!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Wow, amazing, saw this as I whizzed by with the vacuum cleaner trying to get sorted out! Diane

Sandra said...

this gorgeous creature is simply sensational!!! your photos have captured him splendidly. Love this post

Gaelyn said...

WOW, what an amazing moth. The antennae look like fern leaves. And my, what a big tail. It really seemed to like you. Great captures and an outstanding find.

birdy said...

That's a real beauty Joan! This is the most beautiful moth I have ever seen. Nicely documented.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Coooool! We have a similar bug up here, but I've never had the pleasure of seeing one.

Becky and Gary said...

This guy is really gorgeous! What a beautiful speciman, and you got some awesome pictures. Those antennae look like delicate ferns.
B.

blog with no name said...

That is one cool moth! Looks like you have a little buddy there...

Becky said...

What a beautiful moth indedd! I love the antennae, they look like my Boston ferns. Great photos!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It sure is on both accounts Jonker.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

This has to be one of our most beautiful ones Friend of HK. I was so happy to find this one and be able to get some pics of it at last.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

So I am keeping you out of your work am I Diane? :)

It is worth stopping for a minute to look at though. Anyway, you needed the break. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Sandra. Having a good subject always helps. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Gaelyn. I have been looking for one of these for a long time and as big as they are, they are not easy to find.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Birdy. We have a few species of moths here which can compare with butterflies in the beauty department. One alway things of moths as dull and dreary.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

One would think because of the size they would be easier to find Steve, but that is not the case, so I was lucky with this one. It is wonderful to hear from you again. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Becky. The shots did come out well and I was pleased with the result. The antennae looks so fragile to me.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

He was very friendly Mike and I love it when they are like that - totally unafraid.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

They sure do Becky. I am always surprised that I do not see ones with damaged antennae.

Craver Vii said...

First, there was Saint Francis of Assisi.
Then, there was Doctor Doolittle.
Now, it's YOU!!

You really have a gift, Joan. :-)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I am flattered by your kind words Craver. Thanks you.

Andrea said...

I don't understand how I could miss this wonderful post.
One of the best moths I ever saw...
This moths has all the best characters of insect world.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

A stunning one I agree. I was so pleased I founf one and it was so friendly too. Thanks Andrea.

Rambling Woods said...

Beautiful....like our luna moth...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Yes, they are the same Michelle. I was chatting to someone in Canada who breeds them and it seems like they are found in most countries.

JM said...

Fantastic! Have never seen this green guy before.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

This has to be one of the most fantastic moths we have. I have been looking for one for a long time now.