Southern Cat’s-eyed Emperor from South Africa

Subject: moth ID
Location: South Africa
March 21, 2014 8:13 pm
Saw this gorgeous moth near the western entrance to Kruger national Park in South Africa, February, 2014. It’s wingspread was about 4 or 5 inches. Do you know what it is?
Signature: Jeanne

Southern Cat-Eyed Emperor
Southern Cat’s-Eyed Emperor

Hi Jeanne,
This beautiful moth is a Southern Cat’s-Eyed Emperor,
Aurivillius fuscus, and it you disturbed it, you would see that its common name refers to the eyespots on the underwings which will startle a predator into thinking it might be about to be eaten by a much larger predator.  The Southern Cat’s-Eyed Emperor is well represented on ISpot.

Thank you so much for identifying this moth.  I can see how those eye spots would be intimidating.    Ironically, the evening before I’d seen a rhinoceros beetle near the same spot.  It’s pretty cool, too.

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