Baphomet Moth: The Extraterrestrial-Looking Insect

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While there are cute moths out there that may capture your heart, the Baphomet moth will shake your soul at a glance. Something that looks like this is totally out of this world but they share the Earth with us. We are going to discuss some basic information about the Baphomet moths today. Let’s see if you find this insect interesting like I do.

1Appearance

image: reddit

A Baphomet moth is very easy to recognize, an adult has white hindwings and brown forewings. Each forewing has a dark streak, and it is 4 centimeters long. Underneath the wings, you can see the red abdomen but some others rather have yellow abdomens though very rare.

The alien-looking moth that you see is the male Baphomet moth, and only males possess the tentacles. These tentacles are called “coremeta”, and they are used to attract mates. Each male has 4 large coremeta that are grey in color, and they can get so long they exceed the abdomen. When he does not want to attract a female, he will tuck the coremeta inside his body. The coremeta are just a part of the mate attraction, males also secrete pheromone hydroxydanaidal to attract females. When a male senses the presence of a female, he will inflate his coremeta to produce a scent to attract her.

The combination of these two is possible due to the diet that the moth experienced as a caterpillar. If the diet contained pyrrolizidine alkaloids, the coremeta will become large and the male will be able to release the scent. Without the chemicals, they won’t be able to attract any mates. The interesting thing is that the chemicals attract females but repel males of the same species which is super cool. If the female likes what she sees and smells, she will flick her antennae and extend her abdomen towards him. And the mating begins.

2Feeding & Habitats

As a caterpillar, this moth feeds on plants that produce pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). It is a bitter chemical that actually deters insects and other animals from eating the leaves. However, this chemical is beneficial for the moths to grow their coremeta and produce pheromones to attract mates. As adults, they will consume some more of the plants in case their ability to release the pheromone is not enough. Some of the plants they feed on are ragwort, tarweed, and more.

If you think a bug that looks like this should be from Australia, you are not wrong. Baphomet moths are from Australia and some countries in Asia and Southeast Asia. In Asia, they live in China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, New Guinea, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. As for Australia, they are common in the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia.

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