Hercules Moth – Coffs Harbour Butterfly House


For the past few months I have been waiting patiently for some Hercules Moth Coscinocera hercules cocoons to emerge with these amazing moths. They can stay dormant for months before they emerge. The Coffs Harbour Butterfly House have had my name and phone number pinned up next to the box of cocoons and hence the phone call at 9am on Sunday to say a female had emerged. By 10am we’d left! It is about a 2 1/2hr drive to Coffs from here so off we went – my husband (mumbling something about obsessive tendencies) brought his book – fortunately they have a coffee shop/tea house where he spent the majority of the 3 hours we were there! There are a range of species of butterflies here and so I was able to photograph them as well.

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In the meantime I spent a lovely 3 hours photographing/observing this amazing huge moth. It is the largest moth species in Australia and one of the largest in the world. It is in the Saturniidae family of moths. This particular one was a female – the male has longer ‘tails’ on his hindwing.

They also have these transparent disks or ‘eyes’ within their wings through which you could catch the greenery behind. The wing colouring resembles dead leaves and the patterning is said to resemble a snakes head – with the thought that it would trick any predator.

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The only Hercules moths I had seen until Sunday were the ‘pinned’ variety in museums – I must say the rich vibrant browns, the size of this moth and the detail down to those feather-like antenna in a real life alive creature cannot compare!

You may well ask why a hercules moth? Well ‘H’ is for Hercules Moth of course!…Alphabet designs…hence the obsessive tendencies…


3 thoughts on “Hercules Moth – Coffs Harbour Butterfly House

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  1. One of these amazing creatures showed up on my patio today. I am amazed as I have not ever seen such a large moth! After search the web for what kind of moth it is, I have discovered it is a Hercules moth. I live in the US in Chesapeake, VA and I have no idea where this moth came from. I’m thinking perhaps it was carried here in someone’s belongings from another country. I just don’t know. It appears to be a female and seems to be dying. I’m not sure if it has just mated or laid its eggs and this is a natural death. Does anyone know how I can help it or just leave it alone? Please email me at kawsa@aol.com. Thank you.

    1. Sorry Robert – these photos were taken at a butterfly house in Coffs Harbour. I do not breed butterflies/moths, but yes this is quite an impressive species!!

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