Moth sizes

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FriendStein
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PostFriendStein on 3/30/2017, 3:54 am

I've seen quite a lot in my time. But I have actually seen one that is bigger then my hand. And let me tel you I have pretty big hands.
I saw a moth probably 3 feet feet across and maybe 4 inches wide. Is it me or are moths evolving and just getting bigger?
Salmon
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PostSalmon on 3/30/2017, 6:35 am

I find it quite, um, doubtful to say the least that you saw a moth that's 3 feet across, unless that's a typo. (A moth that's 3 feet across but only 4 inches wide sounds like it has very strange proportions.)

The biggest moths in the world (found in Australia, South America and Southeast Asia) are all around 1 foot across. If you live in North America the biggest moths you'll likely see (H. cecropia, C. regalis and A. polyphemus) don't get much bigger than 6 inches across.
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Postmothman27 on 3/30/2017, 6:54 am

True, the largest wingspan EVER recorded was a 12inch White Witch moth(Thysania agrippina), they are typically not that large. The atlas (Attacus atlas) has the largest wing area except for a very large specimen of the Herculese moth that may be larger.
Yes the largest you would see here would be cecropia, regal, imperial and if you were especially lucky the largest native noctuid, the Black Witch moth(ascolapha adorata). Maybe if you count how long the tails on luna moths are you would get 6 inches?

Personaly, I think female E. imperialis can get as large as cecropias.


Last edited by mothman27 on 12/12/2017, 10:01 am; edited 1 time in total

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Salmon
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PostSalmon on 3/30/2017, 8:49 am

I've caught a luna moth that was 5.5 inches across. (Looking back, I probably should've kept the specimen.) So I don't think it's inconceivable that lunas rivaling typically larger species could exist.
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