This is a Red Dotted Euproctis Moth – Euproctis rufopunctata. Its part of the Lymantriidae family which consists of the Tussock moths. The adult moths of this family do not feed and tend to be very hairy. They also give off urticating hairs – not good for asthma sufferers! The larvae are also hairy, often with hairs packed in tufts, and in many species the hairs break off very easily and are extremely irritating to the skin (especially members of the genus Euproctis; Schaefer, 1989). This highly effective defence serves the moth throughout its life cycle as the hairs are incorporated into the cocoon, from where they are collected and stored by the emerging adult female at the tip of the abdomen and used to camouflage and protect the eggs as they are laid. Thanks to Steve Woodhall for the ID. Look out for his book: “Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa”
Tag Archive: South African butterflies and moths
From the family Papilionidae, subfamily Papilioninae and genus Papilio come the Swallowtail butterflies. Papilio is the largest genus in the family and it has species all over the world. Dispite the name, swallowtails are often tailless. The Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly is common throughout South Africa, particularly in wooded areas and gardens. This Citrus Swallowtail was shot at Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.