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Owl Moth (Brahmaea wallichii)

Owl moth of the Brahmin moth family is one of the largest moth species with a large wingspan, indigenous to different parts of Asia. They mimic the owl when it comes to their feathers and eyes, hence the name.

Owl Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Brahmaeidae
  • Genus: Brahmaea
  • Scientific Name: Brahmaea wallichii

Description and Identification


They feed on ash, and common lilac as well as elderberry when in captivity.

Owl Moth Caterpillar



There is no record about this species pupal stage.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Not prominent

Color and Appearance

Forewings:  When opened, they have black and brown stripes with prominent eyespots visible on each side. When closed, there is not much change in pattern, though only one eyespot is seen.

Hindwings:  When opened, it is marked with light brown margins and triangular-shaped white spots. When closed, the color and markings mostly remain the same.  

Average Wingspan:  9 – 16 cm

Flight Pattern: Not recorded

Season: Not recorded

Brahmaea wallichii



Like other Brahmin moths, the owl moth’s eggs are flattened, closely resembling a sphere.

Owl Moth Eggs


Quick Facts

DistributionIndia, Bhutan, Nepal, Japan, Taiwan, China, Myanmar
HabitatTemperate and tropical forests
PredatorsFerrets, weasels, birds, polecats
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsAsh, common lilac, elderberry
Adult DietMostly nectar of their host plants

Did You Know

  • Their species name is in honor of Nathaniel Wallich, the famous Danish botanist.
  • The owl moth has three subspecies, namely Brahmaea wallichii wallichiiBrahmaea wallichii insulata, and Brahmaea wallichii saifulica.
  • Like the owl, these moths are nocturnal too, spending the day spreading their wings and resting on trunks. If disturbed or stressed, they express their agony by shaking but don’t fly away.
Owl Moth Image


Owl Moth Picture


Owl Moth Photo


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