The Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia) is one of the most impressive moths, with a wingspan of up to 9cm. It’s ornate wing pattern of colorful eye spots aid in camouflage. They also often flash them when disturbed, startling and thwarting potential predators.
Moths and other wildlife are being affected by climate change. Species have always evolved to adapt to changing conditions, and will continue to do so. The problem with man-made climate change is that it is happening so quickly that our wildlife may not be able to evolve and adapt fast enough.
During the twentieth century, 62 resident moth species (micros and macros) were lost from Britain alone. Examples included the Essex Emerald, Lesser Belle and Viper’s Bugloss. Three other species have not been seen for a number of years and may also now be extinct here (e.g. Orange Upperwing, Bordered Gothic and Brighton Wainscot).
According to butterfly-conservation.org, since the 1970’s Emperor Moths have been stable in Britain and their conservation status is now common. Let’s hope it stay’s that way because this is a moth not to be missed.
Image credit: Tim Flach
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