Tropical Swallowtail Moth from Malaysia

Malaysian Butterfly
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
January 26, 2012 8:22 pm
This butterfly (?moth) flew in the open window last night and landed on my shoulder while watching TV! Can you help me identify it?
Signature: Jason

Tropical Swallowtail Moth

Dear Jason,
We rather quickly identified your moth as
Lyssa zampa on the Habitat News website from Singapore, though it helped greatly that we recognized the family as Uranidae.  The Habitat News website states:  “The species is found across the Indo-Australian region and is usually enountered in forested areas and nearby urban areas, as it is attracted to the lights there. Altitudinally, they can be found as high as 2,600 metres on Gunung Kinabalu, Sabah! The food plants of the caterpillars are reportedly species of Endospermum (Family Euphorbiaceae); see Barlow’s Moths of Borneo.  While they flutter around readily at night, they are usually immobile in the day (unless disturbed and need to relocate to a suitable perch), allowing a good view of their beautiful wings. I remember the spectacular (and at the time, slightly intimidating) sight of numerous individuals perched on ceilings and walls on damp nights when I was a child. I am of the impression they were more numerous three decades ago.”  In a more recent posting to the Habitat New website, the moth is called the Tropical Swallowtail Moth.

Tropical Swallowtail Moth

Thanks Daniel, we really appreciate the feedback!

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