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African Moon Moth (Argema mimosa)

African Moon Moth

African moon moth of the Saturniidae family is indigenous to parts of southern and eastern Africa. Though this giant moth has similarities to the Madagascar moon moth, it appears smaller than the latter. One of its striking features is the eyespots on its wings. Its overall coloration is closely similar to the natural foliage helping it camouflage with its surroundings.

Description and Identification


African Moon Moth Caterpillar

The larvae appear green with white bands and long projections running through its back. It mainly feeds on tamboti, marula, and corkwood plants.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Saturniidae
  • Genus: Argema
  • Scientific Name: Argema mimosa


African Moon Moth Cocoon

The cocoon where the pupa remains encased is silvery with small holes.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent

Color and Appearance

Forewings: When opened, it has an emerald green coloration with red and yellow eyespots. When closed, the color remains unchanged while only a fewer number of eyespots are visible.

Argema mimosae

Hindwings: When opened, it is green with a reddish-brown border, having tail-like extensions. When closed, the color and pattern appear the same.

Average Wingspan: 12 – 14 cm

Flight Pattern: Consistent

Season: October – March


The eggs are tiny with white coloration.

Quick Facts

DistributionEastern Africa, parts of Southern Africa
HabitatForests, woodlands
PredatorsBirds, bats
Lifespan of Adults7 – 10 days
Host PlantsMarula, tambuti, corkwood
Adult DietNectar of plants

Did You Know

  • Jean Baptiste Boisduval described this species first in 1847.
African Moon Moth Picture
African Moon Moth Image
African Moon Moth Photo

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