Subject: Beautiful giant moth
Geographic location of the bug: Pretoria, South Africa
Time: 01:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi! I found this beautiful giant moth on my windowsill and was wondering where I can satisfy my curiosity on their lifespan, feeding, etc. Google doesn’t seem to have much? It looked like it was busy dying, which made me kind of sad. I love these creatures, nature really is amazing! How can I get more moths into my garden, and if they feed on the trees (which I don’t mind), does it actually damage the tree?
How you want your letter signed: Dominique
We believe we have correctly identified your Giant Silk Moth or Emperor Moth as the Cabbage Emperor Moth Bunaea alcinoe thanks to images posted to African Moths. There does appear to be some variability in colors and markings.
We get many more Cabbage Emperor Moth Caterpillar images than we do images of adult moths. Watch for the Caterpillars on preferred food plants. According to African Moths: “LARVAL FOODPLANTS Celtis africana, Celtis kraussiana, Bauhinia reticulata, Croton, Cussonia spicata, Ekebergia ruepellii, Ekebergia mayeri, Gymnospora senegalensis, Khaya anthotheca, Khaya grandifolia, Harpephyllum caffrum, Terminalia catappa, Maesa lanceolata, Sapium ellipticum, Persea americana, Anthocleista schweinfurthii, Piper umbellatum, Schinus molle, Crossopteryx febrifuga, Dacryodes edulis, Mangifera indica, Acacia auriculiformis, Sarcocephalus latifolius.” Numerous food plants probably contribute to extensive range, which is according to African Moths: “Angola, Benin, Burkina Fasso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, DRCongo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.”