Pirate moth???

  • Dave Shedman
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6 years 10 months ago #39805 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman created the topic: Pirate moth???
Well, since we don't have a moth identification section I thought I would post this under 'other'.

This magnificent specimen decided to join us for dinner last night. This is the biggest moth I have ever seen and it has some wonderful and strange markings on its wings, as well as a fat, heavy looking body. A Nightjar could dine for a week on this thing.

As I tried to photograph it sitting on a kitchen cupboard door it flew off (just like a bird) allowing me this excellent shot of its body and underwings:



When it finally came to rest again, on a plastic container, I had to photograph it from an angle as our kitchen is very narrow and if I had stood directly behind it I would have been too close to focus even on macro. However, this shot shows the wing markings very clearly. This morning I measured the height of the plastic container to get an idea of the length of the moth. Excluding antennae, its body must have been about 5cm long. This is a 2400 x 1800 crop from the original on an 8mp camera!



And the reason I'm calling it a 'Pirate Moth'? Well, this first image shows a remarkable resemblance to a human skull on its back:



And this one shows markings that look like a human face with an eyepatch and a tall hat, sort of like a Jack Sparrow kind of face!



Anybody got any idea what it is? <!-- s:scratchchin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/scratchchin.gif" alt=":scratchchin:" title="Perplexed" /><!-- s:scratchchin: -->

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6 years 10 months ago #39814 by JGB
JGB replied the topic: Re: Pirate moth???
I will forward the post to a few moth experts for their opinion.

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6 years 10 months ago #39830 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: Pirate moth???
Thanks Justin, I knew I could rely on you! :D

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6 years 10 months ago #39831 by JGB
JGB replied the topic: Re: Pirate moth???
As received from John Joannou

This insect is more commonly known as the Beer or Sundowner Moth because of
its attraction to beer and other bevereges. Proper calassification as under
Family: Noctuidae
Subfamily: Ophiderinae
Genus: Sphingomorpha
Species: chlorea
A common and widespread species ocurring in most habitats throughout Africa
south of the Sahara


Cheers,
Justin

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6 years 10 months ago #39838 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: Pirate moth???
Thanks Justin (and John), the mystery is solved! I think it's actually a Shiraz Moth as we were both drinking wine when it appeared. I gather they also like sweet stuff and there was some fruit on our bird feeder just outside the door through which it flew in, so maybe that attracted it in the first place. I'm glad it didn't get into the fridge to raid my stash of Windhoek Lager!

I found a few images of these on Google but none had an image of Johnny Depp on the wings like this one. <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

Thanks again.

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