Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

Five things you should know about the Lyssa zampa moth

Published on May 21, 2014 10:31 PM

SINGAPORE - Chances are, they've already caught your eye. Large, dark-coloured moths with dramatic wings have been spotted all over Singapore in recent weeks, from the CBD to Yishun to Pasir Panjang. The palm-sized moth is the Lyssa zampa, also known as the tropical swallowtail moth. Here are five things you should know about it:

1. With a wingspan of up to 16cm, it is Singapore's second largest moth after the atlas moth.

2. It is native to Singapore, living in forests here. It can also be found elsewhere in South-east Asia.

3. Although present here all year round, it is more commonly seen between May and August. Ecologists are unsure why. The last major flurry of sightings was in 2005.

4. Its caterpillars feed on the leaves of Endospermum, a tree from the rubber family. 

5. The nocturnal moth is attracted to lights in urban areas. During the day, it rests in cool, shady places.