Venus Turntail from Malawi

beautifull unknown moth?
Location: Dwangwa, Malawi, Africa
May 2, 2012 3:24 am
Haai! I found this beautifull moth just outside our house, I have no idea what it might be, but i would really like to know!
From Jani Bester
Signature: Dear Jani

Venus Turntail from Malawi

Hi Jani,
We had some technical difficulties with the website and we were not able to post your identification request sooner.  Superficially, the wings on your moth resemble those of a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae, but we have never seen legs like that on a Sphinx.  There is also something about the characteristics of this creature that reminds us of a North American species known as the Spotted Apatelodes from the Silkworm Moths family Bombycidae.  Since our site is not that scientific, we have lumped that underrepresented family into the Giant Silkworm Moths family Saturniidae on our site.  Interestingly, the three families we just mentioned, Sphingidae, Bombycidae and Saturniidae are all classified in the same superfamily Bombycoidea.  See BugGuidefor this classification and the North American species associated with the superfamily.  We will check with Bill Oehlke who assists us with two of those families to see if he can provide any additional information.  Meanwhile, can you provide us with any information on the size of this marvelous looking moth?

Unidentified Moth from Malawi

Hey! Yes, I actually have the moth! I collect insects!
It has a wingspan of about 5-6 cm and 4cm in length.
The colours on the wings are amazing!
Would you maby like me to take more pictures up close?

Bill Oehlke forwards Thierry Bouyer’s identification
I did not recognize it so asked for other opinions.
Here is what Thierry Bouyer wrote:
It’s a noctuid
Pacidara venutissima Walker, 1865 male
it’s a panafrican species that also comes to banana bait trap
The species is really beautiful !

Ed. Note:  See

Wow! Thank you so very very much!! I really appreciate it!

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