What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Giant moth identification
Location: Gauteng, South Africa
February 24, 2011 3:14 am
We often get these guys fluttering about at night, this is the first pic I’ve gotten of one of them sitting still in good light.
The wingspan is usually about 10cm (4 inches)
Signature: twistedlizzard

Owlet Moth

Dear twistedlizzard,
You have some species of Owlet Moth.  There are many Australian species that are also found in South Africa and some genera are represented by similar looking species in the two locations.  We believe your moth looks like either a member of the genus
Erebus which you can find represented on Butterfly House, or the genus Donuca which you may see on the Brisbane Insect website.

This looks like a Cream-striped Owl, Cyligramma latona (Noctuidae: Catocalinae). It is apparently widespread and common in Subsaharan Africa, as well as Egypt, and the larvae feed on Acacia. Regards. Karl.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Africa

20 Responses to Owlet Moth from South Africa

  1. twistedlizzard says:

    Thanks, you guys rock!!!

    I finally managed to track the species down… it’s a Cream-Striped Owl Moth (Cyligramma latona)


  2. Teresa says:

    I have found a large caterpillar on my Arum lilies, it looks like an elephant Hawk moth caterpillar. But I have not seen any moths that resemble this moth. We have huge brown moths that look like the owlet moth but the caterpillars don’t look like theirs.
    any idea.?

  3. BARRY says:

    I found an owl moth indoors,when i presented a rotton banana,half peeled,she fed for 10 min.After 1 hr.she allowed me to
    pick her up and as i released her she immediately rose vertically to at least 200m.She probed with her proboscus between the banana skin and the banana when feeding. CREAM STRIPED OWL MOTH

    • Marion says:

      Hi Barry
      Thanks for the tip re the banana. I did the same and it fed for 2 hours and had not moved by the time I went to bed. The next morning, a Sundowner Moth was on the banana. I have to giggle when I see a Sundowner Moth in our house, cos they are attracted to the smell of sherry and beer. Need I say more.

  4. Marie Beukes says:

    We have lots of them hear in Namibia. I see that the pods of the Acacia trees are falling off, with small holes in it. Can it be the they are coming out of the pods?

  5. Lynette says:

    How come we are seeing so many Owlet Moths in South Africa at the moment – especially during daytime hours?

  6. Hi. What does the owlet moths lavae and caterpillar look like. Do they also feed on garden vegetables and garden lilies?

  7. Lynette says:

    That’s fantastic!

    • Boniswa Seti says:

      I also had this lovely visitor numerous times in just this week, just saw one now. Now I know what they are called… thanks y’all

  8. Marion says:

    We had 14 in our house on thursday, 8 on friday. I live on a farm in South Africa, 100m from the sea. Went for walk on rocks – low equinox tides. Was accompanied all the way by these moths, even when I had my swim. They often have pieces out of their wings and if handled, the scales come off easier than any other moth around here. My husband thinks Im crazy cos I talk to them!!!

  9. Liza says:

    I currently have four of these beauties in my house. The most I’ve ever seen at one time. And don’t worry, Marion, I also talk to them! 🙂
    PS: I also live quite close to the sea in northern KZN.

  10. Marion says:

    Hi Liza, we have at least 8 every night. Im going to miss them so much when they no longer come here. Im glad Im not the only one who talks to them
    We also have a Sundowner Moth Spingomorpha chlorea – they are attracted by the smell of beer and sherry – visit us often. Ive never seen them before. We live just north of East London on the Wild Coast.

    • Liza says:

      Hi Marion. I live just north of Richards Bay. Sadly I only have three of these beautiful moths left as one of my other housemates ( geckos) must have got hold of one. I only found bits of shredded wings on my floor the next morning. 🙁

      • Marion says:

        Hi Liza
        It seems the season is over for these beautiful visitors. We have had none for the last 4 days. And only 3 common moths last night. I wonder if the cold Easter spell put an end to the flying visitors. I miss my beauties.

  11. Marion says:

    Hi Liza
    Its full moon tonight and we are inundated with them again tonight. I was totally amazed to find a few really small ones of about 1cm. Im must so happy to see them again.

  12. Tish says:

    We live in Durbanville and also have this beautiful owlet moth in our house and yes we love bananas. My Biewer terrier also loves haunting it, so I am guardian of this creature. It flutters around at night and during the day. I hope it stays around long enough so that I can also strike up a conversation.

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