A pretty moth

Last Saturday at a landcare meeting on biocontrol of vines (from which I concluded that the beetles are useful but not a silver bullet – one more thing to add to the tools against feral vines), this moth (Amerila crokeri) landed on another participant. The bright pink leggings match the bright pink abdomen, which I wasn’t quick enough to capture with my camera but you can see it under the semi-transparent wings.

The bright pink probably advertises that the moth is nasty to eat, so is protective. According to the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House website:

The moth has an amazing “frothing” defence mechanism, shared by other moths of the genus Amerila. When disturbed, it exudes a frothy yellow fluid from glands beside the eyes, and makes a sizzling noise!

There’s a photo on their website of the yellow froth effect. Luckily mine wasn’t disturbed at the time.

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This entry was posted in Insects, Travels and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A pretty moth

  1. Prue says:

    Nice sighting!

  2. Roz says:

    What a lovely creature. Are the wings semi transparent?

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