Taiwan’s Only Geometrid Moth

A close look at Taiwan’s only geometrid moth.

Yesterday I breezed through the small town of in southern to scope out some historic sites on my list. One of these sites, the old Ershui Public Hall 二水公會堂, is located next to a wide expanse of unkempt meadowland, evidently a breeding ground for Taiwan’s only geometrid moth. There were hundreds of brightly-colored, iridescent moths flitting around the overgrown ruins—and many more locked in an embrace on whatever flat surfaces could be found. After coming home last night it didn’t take long to puzzle out the name of this species of moth: Milionia basalis pryeri, a subspecies of Milionia basalis only found in and southwestern , particularly . There appears to be no English common name but in Chinese it is generally known as chéngdàizhīchǐ’é 橙帶枝尺蛾; roughly “orange-banded moth”.

How new moths are made!
Smartphone version of the same moth seen above.

Naturally these strikingly beautiful moths have attracted the attention of Taiwanese bloggers; for more photos and info in Chinese try here, here, and here. More basic info can also be found here, here, and here (in Chinese) and here (Japanese). Finally, if you’re interested in moths, I also wrote a short post about bumping into one of the world’s largest moths here in .

1 Response

  1. Nice moth,never seen it before.

    Don’t you find it interesting if you look close, it’s wings have what look like 4 leg markings and it gives an impression of being a large spider from the top?


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