Handmaiden Moths (Ctenuchinae)

Handmaidens are one of the most beautiful diurnal moths and they are easy to observe as they do not fly very far or very fast if they do leave their perch. I have spent many a moment sitting with them trying to capture their beauty and their behaviour.

Handmaiden moth - his wings glimmering in the evening light. The shimmer is produced by fine ridges and grooves on the scales that diffract light.

Handmaiden moth – his wings glimmering in the evening light. The shimmer is produced by fine ridges and grooves on the scales that diffract light.

 

Handmaidens have very broad forewings and reduced hind wings as well as supporting clear spots or patches on their wings. Their bodies often have colourful bands as they are trying to mimic wasps to keep the predators at bay.

Colourful bands on the body of the the Handmaiden give them a wasp like appearance for protection

Colourful bands on the body of the the Handmaiden give them a wasp like appearance for protection

 

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