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Giant Comet or Moon Moths. | by Tony Baldwinson
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Giant Comet or Moon Moths.

The Comet moth (Argema mittrei) or Madagascan moon moth is an African moth, native to the rain forests of Madagascar. The male has a wingspan of twenty centimeters (8 inches) and a tail span of fifteen centimeters (6 inches), making it one of the world’s largest silk moths. The female lays from 120-170 eggs, and after hatching the larvae feed on Eugenia and Weinmannia leaves for approximately two months before pupating. The cocoon has numerous holes to keep the pupa from drowning in the daily rains of its natural habitat. The adult moth cannot feed and only lives for 4 to 5 days. Although endangered in the wild due to habitat loss, the Comet moth is being successfully bred in captivity.

 

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Taken on August 16, 2011