Image Size: 10″ x 7-3/4″
Indigenous to northern India, Nepal, Sikkim, China, Formosa and Japan, the distinctive owl moth is well equipped to intimidate any predator. Located along the forewing posterior margin, the prominent eyespots are enlarged and heavily outlined in dark brownish-black with a faint indication of an eyelid. These elaborated orbs, together with the darker angular markings, resemble the outline of an owl’s head, with fussy hair tufts near the body to complete the ominous picture and detract the predator from the more vulnerable body. The outer wing margins and the abdomen bear intricate alternating bands of muted orange and brown to finish the feathered look.
Inhabitants of mountain forests, these moths are most attractive in the evening. During the day, the owl moth will perch on tree trunks or branches and can sometimes be observed at rest on the ground with the wings outspread. If disturbed, this moth will rock back and forth on its legs rather than fly away.
Text by Jacqueline Miller, Ph. D., Associate Curator, Allyn Museum of Entomology, Florida Museum of Natural History and Former President, The Lepidopterists’ Society
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Located in Duxbury MA