Project Noah Fun Fact: the White Witch moth

For every day of National Moth Week, our partner, citizen science website Project Noah will be featuring a fun fact about a species of moth.

From Project Noah:

The White Witch moth (Thysania agrippina), is an extremely large South American insect. According to the University of Florida Book of Insect Records, this moth has the largest recorded wingspan of all lepidopterans (Lepidoptera is the scientific classification containing butterflies and moths), reaching about 280 mm, our about 11 inches in length. However, this moth is not the largest by surface area, as silk moths (Saturniidae) in the Attacus genus have much wider wings, despite their shorter length. The largest butterfly wingspan, according to the University of Florida Book of Insect Records, is attributed to the Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae), reaching lengths of 250 mm. (Kons 1998, University of Florida Book of Insect Records,“Chapter 32 Largest Lepidopteran Wing Span”)

You can participate in the global citizen science project National Moth Week! National Moth Week 2015 is July 18-26. Visit the website for more information and be sure to register a public or private event! An event can be as simple as observing the moths that come to a porch. During NMW, be sure to post your photos to our website and add them to the National Moth Week mission, Moths of the World!

References:

http://web.archive.org/web/20080302212157/http://ufbir.ifas.ufl.edu/chap32.htm

About Jacob Gorneau

Jacob Gorneau is an undergraduate student studying entomology at Cornell University.
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