DIMAPUR, Aug 22 - The newly-created Noklak district of Nagaland has got a new visitor. An endangered Madagascan moon moth was spotted during a programme held to dedicate the newly-constructed Deputy Commissioner�s office chamber on Friday, an official release stated today.
The Madagascan moon moth is native to the rainforests of Madagascar. Although endangered in the wild due to habitat loss, it is bred in captivity. The male moon moth has a wingspan of 20 cm and a tail span of 15 cm, making it one of the world�s largest silk moths. The female lays 120 to 170 eggs, and after hatching, the larvae feed for approximately two months before pupating.
The cocoon has numerous holes to keep the pupa from drowning in the daily rains in the natural habitat. The adult moths cannot feed and only live for four to five days.
The Madagascan moon moth is one of the beautiful lepidopterans. It is nocturnal and does not fly in daytime. Male and female moths can be easily distinguished. While females have broader and rounder wings and much shorter tail, the males wear long and plumose ones.
Like all insects, the Madagascan moon moth has a lot of natural enemies like chameleons, birds, etc. Only a few individual moths succeed in passing the long way to adulthood.
The Madagascan moon moths are spotted occasionally in the Indo-Myanmar region having a large forested area and a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.