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Hercules Moth - Caterpilla

Paul Davis

Cairns, Australia

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The world’s largest moth – and one of the world’s ugliest animals :)

A face (and body) only as mother could love!

Something this ugly can’t be edited – this is how you find this interesting creatures. No manipulation – it’s just the way it is!

Hercules Moths are located in the tropical region of Far North Queensland.

Often called the Atlas moth in error, the Hercules (Cosinocera hercules) is the largest moth species in the world. With a wingspan of roughly 30 cm (one foot), it is a special treat to find one in their rainforest home. The handsome brown wings of both males and females have triangular transparent ‘windows’ and a white triangle edge looks as if it was dusted onto the wings. The males wings have long tapered tails while the females wings lack the tails but they are larger in overall area. The adult female emerges from the chrysalis without mouthparts as her brief life does not include feeding. After she emerges and her wings unfold and dry, she will emit pheromones to attract a male. After mating, she will fly away, lay her eggs and die shortly after.

The caterpillar is equally impressive at 12 cm (almost 5 inches) long and bearing long yellow spikes from each segment of its pudgy, pale green body. A common tree species, the Bleeding Heart (Homalanthus novoguineensis) is the food plant of the Hercules Moth.

*source http://www.wettropics.gov.au/pa/pa_moths.html

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