Comet Moth Facts
- The mesmerizing Comet Moth officially ranks as one of the largest types of silk moth known to man. To many people, it also remains one of the loveliest.
- This gorgeous Lepidoptera also displays a rather fascinating trait. The cocoons that this invertebrate spins for itself develop with numerous holes in it.
- Experts theorize this is intended to allow water to drain through, given its rather wet habitat, preventing it from drowning.
- Like many Lepidoptera, it remains wholly incapable of feeding, once it emerges from its cocoon. Therefore, its adult lifespan only measures 6-8 days.
Comet Moth Physical Description
The gorgeous Comet Moth ranks as one of the largest known types of silk moth. However, the species does display sexual dimorphism in regards to size.
The males grow larger than females. An average adult male wingspan averages roughly 8 in (20 cm). However, even larger individuals have been seen.
Meanwhile, the females remain significantly smaller, rarely attaining more than half the size of the males.
The wings also primarily display a bright yellow in color. Yet, a unique brownish-orange fringe usually appears along the outside of the wings.
In addition, lines and spots of the same darker color frequently appear on the upper side of the wings of the arthropod.
Species: A. mittrei
Comet Moth Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Unfortunately, both for humans and the Comet Moth itself, this rather breathtaking animal possesses an extremely limited habitat range.
A rather surprising mystery also surrounds the beautiful creature. It lives a primarily nocturnal life, thus its brilliant coloring serves no evolutionary purpose that scientists can determine.
In addition, each female lays between 120-170 eggs after mating, after which she quickly dies. The hatching larvae feed voraciously, primarily on only two specific species of local plants.
The combination of tiny territory range and high dependency on specific plants makes it extremely vulnerable to the threats of climate change and habitat loss.