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2005-12-03-10-00-45

Photographer: Paul Osmond  (see this users gallery)

Rare images of an adult female Hercules Moth (Coscinocera hercules) being held in the hands of a local bird watcher.
This is the largest moth found in Australia and one of the largest species in the world, with the female obtaining a wingspan on up to 27 cms (or 11 inches)!
The female is larger than the male and has thicker 'tails' and less fuzzy antenna as shown in these images. # After mating, the females lay 80-100 eggs on the leaves or stems of 6-8 rainforest plant species, which represent the moths only food plants. The females die after mating and egg laying as they have no mouth parts and so are unable to eat.
Without a mouth, they live only as long as their fat deposits last which they store in the catipillar stage. These fat deposits give the adult moth a lifespan of about 10 days.
Adults are generally only seen for a month or two and images of this species are extremely rare, although this is due more to their remote habitat than thier scarcity, and this species is not considered endangered.
Image taken in the rain forest near the village of Portland in far North Queensland in Australia

· Date: Tue March 21, 2006 · Reference ID: 1475/22005-12-03-10-00-45 · Views: 8877 ·
Keywords: moths insect insects butterfly butter fly large unusual rare brown wings pretty big giant aussie qld rainforest rain forest

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Adult Female Hercules Moth - Coscinocera hercules
Paul Osmond


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