The Madagascan Sunset Moth

Madagascan Sunset Moth - Nature's Wake

The Madagascan Sunset Moth (Chrysiridia rhipheus) is a day-flying moth with some of the most gorgeous and shining colours you can find on an insect. It can be found throughout the year on the island of Madagascar and is most plentiful between March and August. 

This moth closely resembles swallowtail butterflies, which can trick some into thinking it is not a moth. There was even some confusion when it was first discovered. This colourful beauty has a wingspan of 7-11cm depending on the region it is found. 

The colour of the Madagascan Sunset Moth does not come from pigment. It actually comes from optical interference and inter-scale reflection from the curved scales and cuticle layers that make up the wings. The bright patterns warn predators of their toxicity.