Sunday, November 18, 2018
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Antheraea helferi

Recorded Width: 212mm,  Height: 95mm  -  Nest, Maxwell's Hill, Malaysia

Antheraea helferi

This is one the largest moths I have ever recorded. It was caught in the Petunia bush and I had to carefully draw it out.  The moth struggled away from my fingers, and unfortunately tore up its already broken forewings.  As gentle as I tried to be, it didn't take too kindly to my helping hand.  Finally, with a few attempts, my brother, Tony and I managed to rescue it from the Petunia web and we laid it on a log.

Antheraea helferi

It calmed down a bit and after a few photos, I picked it onto my finger but it flew onto Tony's dark shirt and began the warm-up flutter.  Moths flutter their wings to warm up their muscles before they can make a more controlled flight, usually to safety.  I notice that if there is insufficient 'warm-up', the moth will flutter and crash clumsily to the ground.

On another visit to the Nest, I had the pleasure of meeting the male Antheraea helferi below. It too had broken wings. It must've had a tussle with the bat or the wall. The male's colour is not as vibrant as Lady helferi but it is adorned with a stunning mauve-brown coat.  The occelus or eye-shaped markings on the wings resemble four sleepy eyes; probably Nature's attempt to hypnotise any would-be predators... you are not hungry, you are getting scheleeepy, go to sleeeep...

 

Antheraea helferi

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