Urania ripheus the Sunset Moth. One of the most stunning specimens available. The bold and iridescent colours come from optical interference rather than pigmentation, so the colours appear different depending on the angle from which it is viewed. The colours serve to warn predators that it is toxic if eaten.
Urania riphaeus (also known as Chrysiridia rhipheus , or the Madagascan sunset moth) is not a butterfly but a day-flying moth, although when it was first described it was placed in the swallowtail family this error was due to the original specimen having had its head substituted for a butterflys, with clubbed antennae, rather than keeping its own with the unmistakable brushy antennae. (Unfortunately some of these specimens arrived with broken antennae - which seems to be a common theme with these moths so I have removed the remnants).
It is endemic to Madagascar, where it has an interesting relationship with its host plant. The moths migrate in response to changes in the host plants. Chrysiridia larvae defoliate the whole plant, and even eat the flowers and fruit, and thus have a considerable negative impact on the reproduction and survival of seedlings.
The plants probably react by changing their nutrient and secondary compound levels, becoming toxic to the larvae and causing high mortality. Omphalea populations that are not damaged by moths for long periods of time have lower toxicity. These factors cause mass increases in local population, followed by sudden crashes. The population crashes might result from increased larval mortality, but are more likely caused by the emigration of the adult moths. Through semiochemicals, the plant may recruit hymenopteran parasitoids as a protection, hence playing a role in the population dynamics of the moth.This specimen has been expertly prepared by hand to museum standards, and is mounted on conservation-grade foam in a hand-made, beautifully crafted case backed with Italian decorative paper. Absolutely ideal for wedding presents, Christmas and birthday presents, home decoration.
If you have any queries, or would like to request a different specimen, please get in touch! None of the butterflies/moths offered for sale are listed on Annex A of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, and most are farmed this ensures that not only are the specimens in perfect condition, but that the practice is completely sustainable. Butterfly/moth farming allows farmers to generate income while conserving their natural heritage. The item "Urania ripheus Real Taxidermy Moths in Handmade Museum Quality Frame" is in sale since Thursday, July 11, 2019.
This item is in the category "Collectables\Animal Collectables\Insects & Butterflies". The seller is "juancarlos2nd" and is located in Monmouth. This item can be shipped worldwide.