Subject: A Long Unanswered Question From Indonesia
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
January 5, 2013 6:27 pm
Dear Mr. Bugman,
When I was a child (1995-1999) I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia on an American compound. One birthday I was given a large butterfly net from my grandpa made from a pole and an old basket ball hoop. Thus began my collection.
Everyone in the compound knew I collected butterflies and moths so one day I got called out by a guard to collect one out a pile of leaves in a trashcan. I knew even then that it was not a butterfly nor a moth. The question then was: what is it? I still don’t know. I hope you’ll be able to help.
It appears to only have one antennae in the photos but I’m sure it originally had two. It also has a pin through it as that was how I mounted them. The only thing more I know about it is that it smelled terrible when it died. It’s about 4 inches wide including the wings and two inches tall. It looks like a house mouse with wings that are very well designed for leaf camouflage.
We are happy to clear up this mystery after so many years, even if our solution is not specific. Despite your reservations, this really is a moth known as a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae. Those eyespots on the upper wings are quite distinctive, and when we located this page on the photokito blog with images of Amplypterus panopus, we thought we might have identified your moth, but it seems there are some differences. We then looked at additional photos of Amplypterus panopus on The insects from the Palaearctic region and Lepiforum, and we decided that it is most likely your moth, but that the damage your moth suffered in the trashcan is most likely obscuring some features. We believe we have correctly identified your moth as Amplypterus panopus, but we are not certain.