old emperor gum

friend brought me this (from her work at a children’s afterschool care) to marvel at. it’s a little tatty and the antennae broke off on their way to our home but it just adds to the character. it’s a well used and loved moth. i then went to the library and took out a book on common butterflies and moths of new zealand and you will see that it’s in there. it is the gum emperor moth which is native to australia but is fairly widespread in new zealand apparently. it may not be too easy to read considering my great photography skills and photography technology but it says the emperor gum moth is antheraea eucalypti of the saturniidae family. this book was written in 1966 to supplement a previous exhaustive lepidoptera of new zealand book printed in the 1920s which gives a fair indication of the slow movement of research and knowledge of these creatures. anyway, so the emperor gum moth is now classified under the genus opodiphthera and not antheraea in case you may think that kind of interesting.

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