Madora Moth

Mopane worms (larva) only live for 3 – 4 days after evolving into an adult (madora), during which they mate and lay eggss
Madora Moth Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Gonimbrasia belina
Madora Moth Physical Characteristics
Brown, Fawn, Red, Green
Up to a year
0.4 oz
Madora Moth Distribition

The grown-up madora moth does not feed and just lives for 3 – 4 days


The grown-up madora moth is medically called Gonimbrasa belina. They are big, durable moths that do not feed and just friend prior to they pass away in 3- 4 days. The moth’s larva, described as “mopane worm”, feeds mostly on mopane tree leaves. Basically, they might additionally feed upon various other specific host plants around the mopane tree.

The mopane tree is located in the semi- dry locations of South African nations. A mopane worm invasion can ruin the host plant by creating overall defoliation. Mopane worm’s significant predators are people and birds. Flies and wasp parasitoids additionally assault a big gathering of the larvae.

Mopane worms are edible and are collected for intake as a result of their very healthy nature.

Madora Moth Species, Kind, and Scientific Name

Madora moth ( G. belina) comes from a team of moths identified as huge and durable. The species is a saturniid and comes from the order Lepidoptera. Participants of the Saturniidae family host the biggest species of moths on the planet. Various other participants consist of the luna moth, comet moth, and Io moth.

The premature madora moth larvae (caterpillar) are edible and a significant healthy protein resource for sure below- Saharan Africans. John.O. Westwood explained this insect in 1849, and ever since, the larva has actually been provided usual names like mopane worm, emperor worm and emperor moth. The polychromatic emperor, Gynanisa maja, is an additional saturniid species that feed practically specifically on mopane tree.

Appearance: Just How to Recognize Madora Moth

Madora moths
Madora moths are just located in South African nations.Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock. com

The madora moth has some distinct recognizing functions. Like the majority of saturniids, they are definitely big, with a wingspan of about 12 mm. Normally, the wing might be fawn, environment-friendly (numerous tones), brownish or red. Madora moth has eyespots on both the forewings and hindwings separated by a white and black band. The eyespots on the hindwings vary from the ones on the forewings. They have an orange pigmentation that is noticeably bigger than the ones on the fore wings.

As component of the breeding habits of madora moths, the males have big downy antennae to discover the female moth’s visibility. Comet moths, an additional species in the family Saturniidae, have this function as well. The butterfly, nonetheless, has clubbed antennae.

The caterpillar is noticeably long, getting to concerning 100 mm and 10 mm large. They are black, peppered with rounded ranges in& nbsp; not as well apparent rotating& nbsp; reddish, yellow-colored and creamy colored bands. As component of their defense reaction, the larvae have brief reddish or black backs covered in great white hair. They utilize this to shield their bodies, feeling predators and stay clear of being feasted on.

Considering that the eggs are positively hatched out throughout the summer season, the caterpillar embraces the practice of tunneling below ground to pupate (undertake a full change to end up being madora moth). This shields them from risks and additionally enables the caterpillar to overwinter

Environment: Where to Discover Madora Moth

Madora moths are just located in South African nations. They are extensively dispersed in the eastern fifty percent of South Africa and additional north right into eastern and main Africa. This consists of the severe north of the Limpopo district in South Africa, north- eastern Botswana, north Nambia, and components of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. They normally stay in semi- desert, bushveld, and meadow settings, where there’s a wealth of mopane trees.

The young caterpillars survive on the tree where they are hatched out however move to an additional tree when there is a brief supply of nutrients. This can lead to mass movements, and columns can extend over 5 kilometres.

It is very important to keep in mind that animals with fantastic worths constantly deal with overutilization. The mopane worm is not various. Boosted industrial exploitation, logging (of mopane forests), environment adjustment leading to dry spell, and predation add to the declination of the wealth of this species in their all-natural environment.

Diet: What Do Madora Moths Eat?

The grown-up madora moth lives for concerning 3 days, and they do not feed. Feeding just happens in the larval stage of the moth. Surprisingly, the moth finishes its reproductive cycle within this brief duration, and the female lays a solitary collection of 50 to 200 agitate the host tree. It takes 10 days prior to the eggs hatch out right into larvae (caterpillars). At this phase, the caterpillars are ravenous insects as they will certainly remain to eat for around 6 weeks& nbsp; to prepare for the various other phases of their life process. The food eaten in this stage is made use of to finish the whole cycle of the moth.

What Does Madora Moth Eat?

The caterpillar preys on the vegetation of a host plant, Colophospermum mopane This is one of the most favored host for mopane worms. Nevertheless, the worms aren’t picky eaters. They can additionally feed upon numerous various other plants native to the very same area, consisting of the fallen leaves of the Mango tree. Various other species like Diospyros spp, Carissa spp, Ficus spp, Sclerocarya caffra, Terminalia spp, Trema spp, and Searsia spp act as choices. The young caterpillars feed voraciously on the vegetation of the fallen leaves till they turn into pupa type.

What Consumes Madora Moth?

Various predators eat the madora moth at its various phases of development. Birds and insects like jackals, warthogs, and antbears all eat the pupae of the moth. They do this by excavating them out from the ground. The eggs are additionally preyed upon by various parasitical wasp species.

People are the significant eaters of the caterpillar of madora (mopane worms). The worms belong to the diet in backwoods of Shangaan and even more like a special in metropolitan locations of such nations as Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia, and the Limpopo district of South Africa. The ladies and kids gather the worms throughout the wet period. Individuals in cities additionally trade them proactively for intake. Specialists have actually investigated that the worms are very dietary and have concerning 60% healthy protein (concerning 3 times the healthy protein web content of beef) and substantial quantities of phosphorus, iron, and calcium.


  1. South African National Biodiversity Institute / Zwannda Nethavhani and Ruan Veldtman, Available here:
  2. Wikipedia, Available here:
  3. Kidadl, Available here:

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