Mantis-Mimic Moth

Mantis-Mimic Moth Photo, Picture
  • Common Name: Mantis-Mimic Moth
  • Order Name: Lepidoptera
  • Family Name: Noctuidae

The moth members of this Order of insects include a large number of diverse families. Moth groups include micro moths, leaf miners, clothes moths, plume moths, ermine moths, burnets, geometrids, silk moths, sphinx moths, tiger moths, wasp moths, noctuids, underwings and many others.

This Indonesian moth is probably mimicking the raptorial legs of a praying mantis. Mimicry of a predatory insect is achieved by modifying its leg and body hairs and adjusting its behavior and body stance to a very un-mothlike state. The hairs on the front two legs create the illusion of thickened muscular legs and they are held out in a position similar to those on a Praying Mantis. The illusion is strengthened by the moth holding its abdomen erect above its wings. Other moths have adopted this line of defense as seen with the day-flying moths that effectively mimic wasps.