Is it a bat…no it’s a moth


These photos were taken by Languedoc Living reader, Mary Hawkesworth.

The Giant Peacock Moth

The Giant Peacock Moth (saturnia pyri), known in French as the Grand Paon de Nuit, is Europe’s largest moth. The wingspan can measure up to 15cm across. As they fly at night, they are often mistaken for bats.

One of our Languedoc Living readers, has sent in two magnificent photos which she took in the Languedoc.

The first one is the Giant Peacock Moth larva. As large as a man’s thumb, it was probably not far from spinning its cocoon. Note its lovely blue warts with black hairs!

The second one is of the Giant Peacock Moth itself. It flies at night between April and late June. This specimen seems to have taken a few knocks on its travels, and is likely to be quite old.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum : Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Saturniidae
Genus: Saturnia Species: S. pyri

If you have any similar wildlife photos or stories, please send them in.