The Madagascar (Giant) Moon Moth, Argema mittrei, is a large, bright yellow night-flying moth from Madagascar with a wingspan of up to 20 cm (the larger male) and length to 15 cm.
Also called the Comet Moth because of its bright colour and trailing streamers
The moth above is a female Madagascan Moon moth, with shorter tail streamers, smaller feathered antennae and a slightly different wing pattern than the male on the left.
Many thanks to Mark Lightowler, a breeder of these moths, for pointing out that the male and female of Moon Moths look very different.
The African Moon Moth, Argema mimosae, from the South African mainland is a greener colour than the Madagascan and with different eye pattern and wing bars, but it has the same long "tail" streamers; it is a little smaller with a wingspan of some 12 cm and length to 14 cm. Like the other Moon Moths on this page, it doesn't have a mouth, doesn't eat and lives for less than a week in its adult form. Like other butterflies and moths, its purpose is to mate and produce the next generation of caterpillars.
The "eye spots" could startle a potential predator
The Indian Moon Moth, Actias selene, from Asia is one of several Moon or Luna moths of the "actias" species throughout Asia and America (including the Luna Moth of North America).
The Luna moths are greener than their African cousins above with white rather than yellow bodies; they have similar false eyespots, long "tails" and have a wingspan of some 12 cm.