Hypopyra capensis

Spot the beast 12

I was not planning to blog today, Sunday. However, there are no rest days for Nature so I found this creature in the garden and took a picture for you to find it. This time it is not very difficult…

scn9945-copy-2I am sure that you spotted it but, just in case I give you a close-up.

scn9948-copyIt is (I believe) a Red Tail moth (Hypopyra capensis), a common moth of Southern Africa that has a cryptic upperside that blends very well with dead leaves this time of the year.

Its under-wings and abdomen, however, are bright orange-red hence its common name.


As I try not to handle them, I thought I would not able to show you its underside as it flew away. Luckily it decided to land on the floor of the patio for a while where I could photograph it under direct sunshine and the underside colour can be seen, even from above!


The larvae of this beautiful large moth of about 70mm wingspan feed on false-thorn (Albizia) and its range goes up to equatorial Africa.[1]


[1] Picker, M., Griffiths, C., and Weaving, A. (2004). Field Guide to Insects of South Africa. Struik Nature. pp366.


Spot the Beast 2 – Revealed

Spot the beast 2 In

My wife found a “leaf” stuck on the fluorescent tube in the kitchen that flew off, flashing its orange-red under parts, when she tried to remove it.

I collected dry leaves from the garden and put the moth on them for the picture. I think it is a Red Tail moth (Hypopyra capensis). It is a rather common moth. Its larvae feed on Albizia spp. trees.

I am sure you all spotted it! In fact I realized, after I released it, that I had put it in the centre of the picture (not very clever!).

large moth