African Moon Moth (Argema mimosa)
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
The larvae appear green with white bands and long projections running through its back. It mainly feeds on tamboti, marula, and corkwood plants.
The cocoon where the pupa remains encased is silvery with small holes.
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.
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.
|Distribution||Eastern Africa, parts of Southern Africa|
|Lifespan of Adults||7 – 10 days|
|Host Plants||Marula, tambuti, corkwood|
|Adult Diet||Nectar of plants|
Did You Know
- Jean Baptiste Boisduval described this species first in 1847.