Daintree Rainforest – The Hercules Moth

With the weather warming up in the Tropics, The Hercules Moth has been recently sighted in the Daintree Rainforest, more so around the Cape Tribulation.
The Hercules Moth is among some of the most impressive moths in the Daintree Rainforest. It is the largest species of moth in Australia and one of the largest in the world.

The main colour of a Hercules Moth is brown. Both male and female have triangular transparent ‘windows’ and a white triangle edge.

Males can have a wingspan of up to 20cm, their hindwing is longer with a tapered tail. Although the male is smaller than the female, it has more vibrant colourations than the female.

The female Hercules Moth does not have the tapered longer tails however it  boasts the largest wing area of any moth in the world. The wingspan can be up to 27cm. from tip to tip.
The adult female emerges from the chrysalis without mouthparts as her brief life does not include feeding. After she emerges she will emit pheromones to attract a male.
After mating, the female lays 80-100 eggs on the leaves or stems of some Daintree plant species. She dies shortly after that as she can only live only as long as her fat deposits last.

The Moth eggs hatch in 8-14 days depending on the temperature.The spectacular pale-blue/greenish  caterpillars which are adorned with yellow spikes can grow to a length of 12 cm ( near 5 inches) They
feed on leaves of several rainforest trees but prefer those of the Bleeding Heart tree, Homalanthus nutans. and Glochidion spp. (Cheese tree).

This picture of a Hercules Moth was taken near Cape Tribulation rest rooms. If you are fortunate to see one of the moths in the Daintree Rainforest, please do not try and touch or displace them. Remember everything in the Daintree Rainforest is there for a reason. We live in a precious environment so please help us to protect all that is within so that it will be there for others to enjoy. Book your Daintree Rainforest Day Trip and view this precious environment for yourself.