A World of Wonder
Larva or caterpillar of the Comet moth ( Argema mittrei)
Analamazaotra Special Reserve, Madagascar
The Comet moth – also known as the Madagascan moon moth – is one of the largest silk moths in the world and found only in Madagascar. This impressive Saturniidae species is similar to the Luna moth, but much larger. The males have extremely long tails, which can often reach up to 20cm. As with all Saturniidae moths, the mittrei does all its eating in the larva stage; the adult moth has no mouth and cannot eat. When the moths emerge from their cocoon, they hang on the bottom to let their wings dry. The females sit and wait for the males to come to them for mating.