Weird Moths and Strange Facts

Greetings, let us carry on with the subject of moths. Upon hearing the word "moth" it invokes images of drab brown insects that munch our clothes. Still there's plenty more to these generally-nocturnal fliers than meets the eye. 
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These insects are extremely diverse with over 160,00 species in the world. Hopefully our previous post which provided you with differences within the misunderstood moths and their more elegant and more appealing butterfly cousins was knowledgeable. When thinking of what to write for today's post, we thought of the most obvious choice "most beautiful moths of the world" but that seemed over done and instead we decided to embark on a road to weirdness. And the results lie here in a form of a post which consists of strange facts about moths and some strange moths themselves. 

Image Source. Vampire Moth (Calyptra Thalictri) drink blood from vertebrates, and most possess the ability to drink human blood by piercing the skin.
Moths make great mimics, some moths are well-known for their ability to impersonate other animals to protect themselves. Moths have also adapted impressively to avoid predation. Previously featured Hawk Moths produce ultrasound from their genitals to avoid bats. Even though some moths have made news for being major agricultural pests, many are valuable pollinators and in some parts of the world they even form the major food source of humans. Moths and butterfly caterpillars are filled with proteins and healthy fats, and 100 grams of these insects supplies more than a 100% of the daily requirement of essential minerals including: potassium, calcium, zinc and iron.

Image Source. Southern Flannel Moth also known as Pussy Moth looks a bit like a tiny Persian cat
A common known fact about moths is that most of them don't eat. While some moths suck nectar, some don't even possess a mouth as their singular mission being mating. Moths use scent to find a mate, however they lack noses. Moths detect pheromones using hair like olfactory receptors on their antennae. Male Giant Silkworm Moths have a supernatural-like olfactory sensitivity which enable their elaborate, feather-shaped antennae to distinguish a single particle of a female moth's sex hormone from 7 miles (11 kilometers) away, incredible. 
Image Source. No! That is not bird poop! It is the Bird Dropping Moth!

Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum Stellatarum) or sometimes simply known as the Humming Moth 
Habitat: Deserts, Mediterranean forests, broad-leaf forests, temperate grasslands, tropical dry forest and tropical grasslands of Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean, Russia and United Kingdom.
Hummingbird Hawk-moth looks like its namesake bird, hovers and feeds on flowers with its long tongue. Hummingbird Hawk-moth feeds on a variety of flowers including bee balm, honey suckle and verbena. An audible humming noise is produced by their wings due to the speed of whipping.

Image Source. Io Moth have an eye spot on each hind wing as a defense mechanism meant to terrify potential predators.

Atlas Moth (Attacus Atlas) is the world's largest moth discussed in our previous post it obtains a very large wing surface and a large cocoon which is used for several purposes by humans. The cocoon is used as a lucky charm in Africa and an ankle rattle in Mexico. In Taiwan the moths cocoons are used as purses. The cocoon is spun from broken strands of brown silk known as Fagara which local communities gather and turn into purses.

Image Source. Hornet Moth is a broad harmless beefy moth which is a impersonation of a hornet.
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Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea Polyphemus) is a North American moth which gets its name from Greek mythology. Polyphemus was the name the one-eyed son of Poseidon and Thoosa, one of the Cyclops. The Polyphemus Moth has two different eye spots on its hind-wings.

Image Source. The Venezuelan Poodle Moth! That's all we're saying.
Looking at the variety of moths discussed in today's post makes us think, "Why are the moths in our house so plain?" We hope you have enjoyed our list of weird but wonderful moths. However this post is far from complete so feel free to leave us a comment on other interesting moths you've taken or seen. We'll leave you a picture of the Madagascan Moth (mentioned in our previous post) which is a part of the "Mind-Bogglingly Big BUGS" exhibit at Chester Zoo. Do keep a look out for the post covering the entire exhibit.

Over and out.

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