Ten of the Worlds Rarest and Most Unusual Moths

We have already seen some of the worlds rarest and most unusual butterflies, but what about their nighttime counterparts? You might not think a moth can be unusual or beautiful as they often have dull colouring and the same wing shape. But moths can be more interesting than you might think. While this is no mean a comprehensive list I have picked ten moths that I think are some of the worlds rarest and most unusual that you will ever see…

Arctiine Moth (Creatonotos gangis)

Arctiine Moth (Creatonotos gangis)

You can forgive the man from Semarang, Central Java who found this in their house and thought it was some sort of alien species. Those weird leg things coming out of the rear of this moth are four large eversible coremata (scent organs), which can exceed the length of the abdomen when inflated meaning this moth was pretty was probably trying to attract a mate when this image was taken.

Luna Moth (Actias luna)

Luna Moth (Actias luna)

Not all moths have dull, boring colours, some of them are just as pretty as butterflies! This is a lime-green giant silk moth from North America. It’s not just fasinating to look at, it also has an interesting defence mechanism in which the larvae clicks as a warning to predators.

Elephant Hawk Moth (Deilephila elpenor)

Elephant Hawk Moth (Deilephila elpenor)

This beautiful pink moth gets its name from the abdomen that is shaped might like an elephant’s trunk. It is quite a common moth around Europe and is often confused with its smaller cousin the small elephant hawk moth (Deilephila porcellus) especially when they are fresh from their cocoons.

Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)

Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)

This is North America’s largest native moth and arguably the worlds cutest moth as well. Some have been documented with a wingspan of over 7 inches which makes people fear them despite their playful and friendly nature.

Buff-tip Moth (Phalera bucephala)

Buff-tip Moth (Phalera bucephala)

You are probably wondering why the image shows a man balancing a tiny log on his finger. That is because this moth’s thoracic hair is so buff it resembles a broken twig when at rest. This is also the reason for its name of course.

Madagascan Sunset Moth (Chrysiridia rhipheus)

Madagascan Sunset Moth (Chrysiridia rhipheus)

Some tropical species of swallowtail moth like the Madagascan Sunset Moth are known for their bright, butterfly-like colours and are often called sunset moths. It just goes to show how beautiful and vibrant a moth can be despite its nocturnal nature.

Pussy Moth (Cerura vinula)

Pussy Moth (Cerura vinula)

No, I really am not making these names up. The head, thorax, and body of these moths are very fluffy, with a cat-like appearance, so hence the name of pussy moth or puss moth. Luckily they are not the size of a cat and only have a wingspan of 58 millimetres (2.3 in) to 75 millimetres (3.0 in)

Spotted Apatelodes Moth (Apatelodes torrefacta)

Spotted Apatelodes Moth (Apatelodes torrefacta)

This moth is from the family of moths called ‘Bombycidae’ and it scared quite a few people when it flew into a post office a while ago, but like all moths is pretty harmless. The broken look of the wings is what makes this moth family so unusual with some of them having only small areas of wing attachment to the abdomen.

Plume Moth (Pterophorus pentadactyla)

Plume Moth (Pterophorus pentadactyla)

With its unusually modified wings this moth doesn’t look like a moth at all, but its wings are shaped like that so that they resemble a piece of dried grass which means they will often go unnoticed by potential predators even when resting in broad daylight.

Clymene Moth (Haploa clymene)

Clymene Moth (Haploa clymene)

The Clymene moth is a moth of the tiger moth subfamily ‘Arctiinae’, but it is otherwise known as the Goth moth because of its wing pattern that often looks like an upside-down cross on its back.

Do you know of any other amazing or fascinating moths? If you do why not tells us about them in the comments and let us all discover more about these amazing creatures.

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