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Gorgeous Photos of Unique Moths

A moth is not an animal we’d like to see at home, particularly in our closet, or even in the backyard. However, the moth family is one of the most diverse in the world, with over 150,000 species around the world. Each species possesses traits and complexities, some of which can rival any butterfly while others have incredible defense mechanisms you wouldn’t expect to find in such creatures. After reading this article, you just might change your views on moths.

1. Attacus Atlas

Moths

These gigantic moths can be found in Southern Asia. It is considered to be one of the largest moths in the world – hence its name the “Atlas Moth”. They can reach a size of 10-12 inches (25-30cm).

2. Actias Lun

Moths

This moth employs a defense mechanism similar to butterflies, which simulates “eyes” on its wings, meant to deter predators. Its long “tail” is used to confuse the moth’s main predator – the bat.

3. Acraga Coa

Moths

This tropical moth can be found in Central America and is nicknamed the “Jewel Moth”. These moths go through an amazing transformation from a translucent caterpillar, covered in a sticky chemical for protection, into the beautiful plumage-covered creature you see above.

4. Acharia Ophelians

Moths

These caterpillars are a bright green, with a turquoise-colored head. The above photo shows them resting on a leaf.

5. Argema Mimosa

Moths

Also known as the “African Moon Moth”, it is one of the world’s largest silk moths. This species does not have a mouth, and its short lifespan is spent mating.

6. Mulberry Silkworm

Moths

This caterpillar is beginning to build its cocoon out of silk threads it produces. Sadly, they are very small, meaning that it takes 2000-3000 cocoons to produce about 3 feet of silk cloth.

7. Hyalophora Cecropia

Moths

The above photo is the caterpillar stage. The colorful decorations on the caterpillar’s back are actually called tubercles and researchers believe they’re used to deter predators.

Moths

Once out of the cocoon (left side of the photo), this female spreads its wings to dry them out before she’ll attempt to fly. This species wingspan can grow as large as 6 inches (15cm), making them the largest moth species in North America.

8. Macaria Occiduuaria

Moths

Caught mid-flight Mt. Hood National Park, Oregon, U.S.A. – At the caterpillar stage, this species doesn’t have legs, making it slow and clumsy to a degree where it spends most of its days going around itself in circles.

9. Wasp Moth

Moths

Before it starts building its cocoon, the wasp moth caterpillar forms protective “fences” to block hungry ants from reaching his cocoon.

10. Ctenucha Virginica

Moths

This is also a type of wasp moth, native to Cross Lake in Minnesota, U.S.A. – While most moths are nocturnal, this species is one of the only ones that are active both at night and during the day.

11. Puss Caterpillars

Moths

This caterpillar may look like a cuddly little kitten, but if you touch it – you’ll be sorry. Under the plumage, there’s an array of poisonous spines that can cause tremendous pain, vomiting, and even respiratory distress.

12. Tussock Moth

Moths

The caterpillars of this species have multiple colors, but touching them is inadvisable – even the slightest touch can cause a severe rash. Any predators that try to eat these moths tend to lose their appetites. Permanently.

13. Camouflaged Moth

Moths

As opposed to the aggressive defense mechanisms we saw before, this moth tries to stay as inconspicuous as possible, camouflaging itself as a dry leaf.

14. Comet Moth

Moths

This beautiful species is endemic to the Islands of Madagascar and are also the world’s largest silk moth. They have a wingspan of 8 inches (20cm), and the “tail” can be as long as 6 inches (15cm).

15. Drycampa Rubicunda

Moths

These beauties are native to Canada, where they feed mainly on maple trees (red, silver, and sugar maple) but only during their caterpillar stage - once they turn into mature moths, they lose their mouths. At night, the females release pheromones that the males sense with their feelers, and that’s how they invite each other for a wild night.

16. Deilephila Elpenor

Moths

Nicknamed the “Elephant Moth”, they can be found all through Europe and Asia, from Ireland to Japan. Once these moths spread their wings, their shape, and coloring, in combination with the shape of the moth’s body make it look like a decorated elephant’s head.

17. Automeris Metzli

Moths

This thorny caterpillar uses its rigid protrusions both as a defensive shield, as well as an active bit of camouflage. They are endemic to the Santa Rosa National Park in Costa Rica.

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