Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Invasion of the Lyssa zampa moth

Well, not really an invasion. We spotted and photographed this nice looking Lyssa zampa moth (also known as the 'tropical swallowtail moth') at Raffles Place today.

Adult moths are thought to appear annually in Singapore between May to July in urban areas near forests. It is not know if this apparent seasonal emergence is typical of populations elsewhere.

Five Facts about the Lyssa zampa moth:

  • With a wingspan of up to 16cm, it is Singapore's second largest moth after the atlas moth.
  • It is native to Singapore, living in forests here. It can also be found elsewhere in South-east Asia.
  • Although present here all year round, it is more commonly seen between May and August. Ecologists are unsure why. The last major flurry of sightings was in 2005.
  • Its caterpillars feed on the leaves of Endospermum, a tree from the rubber family.
  • The nocturnal moth is attracted to lights in urban areas. During the day, it rests in cool, shady places.

Have you seen this moth in or around your area?

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