Comet moth

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The comet moth or Madagascan moon moth (Argema mittrei)[3] is a moth native to the rain forests of Madagascar. The species was first described by Félix Édouard Guérin-Méneville in 1847. The male has a wingspan of 20 cm (7.9 inches) and a tail span of 15 cm (5.9 inches), making it one of the world's largest silk moths. The female lays from 120 to 170 eggs,[4] and after hatching, the larvae feed on Eugenia and Weinmannia leaves for approximately two months before pupating.[5] The cocoon has numerous holes to keep the pupa from drowning in the daily rains of its natural habitat.[4] The adult moth cannot feed and only lives for 4 to 5 days.[4] Although endangered in the wild due to habitat loss, the comet moth has been bred in captivity.[4]

In its natural habitat, larvae feed on Weinmania eriocampa, Uapaca species, Eugenia cuneifolia and Sclerocarya birrea.

Substitution plants are Cotinus coggygria, Eucalyptus gunnii, Malosma laurina, Pistacia terebinthus, Pistacia lentiscus, Rhus copallinum, Rhus typhina, Schinus molle, Schinus terebinthifolius, Toxicodendron pubescens, Mimosa species and Liquidambar styraciflua.[6] This moths figures on the former banknote of 1000 Malagasy ariary.[7]

References

  1. ^ De Prins, J. & De Prins, W. (2018). "Argema mittrei (Guérin-Méneville, 1847)". Afromoths. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  2. ^ "Argema mittrei Guérin-Meneville, 1846". gbif.org. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  3. ^ "Comet moth". The Magic of Life Butterfly House. Aberystwyth: The Magic of Life Trust. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d Rollison, Emily; Thackston, James (2003). "Argema mittrei". Clemson University Arthropod Collection. Clemson University. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  5. ^ Anon. "Madagascan Comet Moth". Heart of England butterflies. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  6. ^ Papillon-comète de Madagascar (Argema mittrei) (in French)
  7. ^ Madagascar Library
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Comet moth: Brief Summary

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The comet moth or Madagascan moon moth (Argema mittrei) is a moth native to the rain forests of Madagascar. The species was first described by Félix Édouard Guérin-Méneville in 1847. The male has a wingspan of 20 cm (7.9 inches) and a tail span of 15 cm (5.9 inches), making it one of the world's largest silk moths. The female lays from 120 to 170 eggs, and after hatching, the larvae feed on Eugenia and Weinmannia leaves for approximately two months before pupating. The cocoon has numerous holes to keep the pupa from drowning in the daily rains of its natural habitat. The adult moth cannot feed and only lives for 4 to 5 days. Although endangered in the wild due to habitat loss, the comet moth has been bred in captivity.

In its natural habitat, larvae feed on Weinmania eriocampa, Uapaca species, Eugenia cuneifolia and Sclerocarya birrea.

Substitution plants are Cotinus coggygria, Eucalyptus gunnii, Malosma laurina, Pistacia terebinthus, Pistacia lentiscus, Rhus copallinum, Rhus typhina, Schinus molle, Schinus terebinthifolius, Toxicodendron pubescens, Mimosa species and Liquidambar styraciflua. This moths figures on the former banknote of 1000 Malagasy ariary.

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Head of comet moth

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Adult on cocoon

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Caterpillar

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Cocoons and eggs

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