What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

large dark moth from SA
Subject: large dark moth from SA
Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa
February 11, 2012 2:00 pm
Hi, here is a moth that was visiting my house during a recent warm weather spell. The wingspan was a little over 10 cm. What species could this be? Thanks,
Signature: Windy

King Monkey Moth

Ed. Note:  February 15, 2012
Because of our own classification error in our original response, we were not able to find this species on the World’s Largest Saturniidae Site.  Our lack of success is no reflection on the comprehensive database to be found there.

Hi Windy,
This is one of the giant Silkmoths in the family Saturniidae, but alas, we had no luck finding a match on the very comprehensive World’s Largest Saturniidae Site.  We will contact the webmaster, Bill Oehlke, to see if he is able to provide an identification.  Unless we overlooked an obvious match, this might be an unrecorded sighting from South Africa, in which case Bill might ask your permission to use your image on his website as well.  It is also really great that you provided views of both sides of the wings.

King Monkey Moth

Update:  February 13, 2012
After taking advantage of the comment provided by Ryan, Windy wrote back with what she believes to be a King Monkey Moth, Jana tantalus, that she identified on Lambert Smith’s website.

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

5 Responses to King Monkey Moth from South Africa

  1. ryan says:

    Perhaps not Saturniidae, rather something in the family Eupterotidae, subfamily Eupterotinae. Flickr has many photos of various species in this subfamily. I have no idea of the species or genus.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks Ryan,
      You appear to be correct, based on this FlickRiver page. According to the What Bug Is That? Australian website: “This chiefly Old World family (Forbes 1955) includes 3 genera in Australia. In the Indo-Malayan Eupterote (1 sp.), and in Cotana (2 spp.) which also occurs in New Guinea, a large epiphysis is present in the male, but absent in the female. Eupterote lacks the frenulum and retinaculum found in Cotana. E. expansa is a large, anthelid-like species from North Qld.”

  2. ryan says:

    Right, and I am pretty sure most of the photos on Flickr are from Africa, and I came across another site while googling the family that had pictures of two African species, at least one SA species in particular.

  3. windy says:

    Great! Thanks to ryan’s tip, I found the following image of the King Monkey moth, which seems to be the same species:


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