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Hercules (Coscinocera hercules)

Hercules Moth

Hercules moth of the Saturniidae family is native to different parts of Australia. William Henry Miskin, an Australian entomologist, described them first in 1876.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Saturniidae
  • Genus: Coscinocera
  • Scientific Name: Coscinocera Hercules

Description and Identification


Hercules Moth Caterpillar

The larvae are pale blue covered in yellow spikes, 12 cm long, weighing about 29 grams. Their food comprises leaves growing in the rainforests, more specifically those of the bleeding heart tree. The caterpillar phase lasts for about three months, after which they retreat into their cocoon.


Hercules Moth Cocoon

They remain enclosed in a silk cocoon, after which they pupate and emerge into an adult moth.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present

Color and Appearance: When the wings are opened, they appear brown with white stripes running down irregularly. Each of the wings is also marked with four transparent windows, two on top and two down. When the wings are closed, the color is the same, with only two windows visible at a time.

In the male Hercules moths, the rear end of their hindwings is extended to form long tails.

Hercules Moth Male
Coscinocera hercules

Average wingspan: 27 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic


Hercules Moth Eggs

The small-sized eggs are orange, taking about 14 days to hatch.

Quick Facts

Quick Facts

DistributionNorthern Australia, New Guinea
HabitatRainforest regions, close to their host plants
PredatorsSeveral birds, like the black butcher
Lifespan of adults10 – 14 days
Host plantsTimonius rumphi, Prunus serotina, Polyscias elegansGlochidion ferdinandi
Adult dietNectar of host plants

Did You Know

  • Their enormous wings make them the largest of all Australian moths in the world. When it comes to the surface area, their’s span to about 300 sq.cm, the biggest among all insects.
Hercules Moth Image
Hercules Moth Size
Hercules Moth Picture

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