Madagascar sunset moths (Chrysiridia rhipheus) are brightly colored moths native only to the island of Madagascar. In addition to their beauty, there are several aspects that set Madagascar sunset moths apart from other moths. Madagascar sunset moths are diurnal, meaning, unlike most moths, they are active during the day. This habit, as well as the bright colors and shape of their wings, causes them to frequently be mistaken for swallowtail butterflies. Madagascar sunset moths have only one means of defense — they are poisonous. The toxins contained in the Omphalea plants are eaten by the caterpillars but not digested. Instead these toxins remain in their bodies through pupation and into adulthood. The result is a moth that is toxic to most predators. Their brightly colored wings may serve as a warning predators to leave them alone or suffer the consequences. By far the most noticeable distinguishing characteristic of Madagascar sunset moths is their appearance. They are large moths, boasting a wingspan of 3 to 3 1/2 inches. It’s their wings that really get them noticed. The flashy colors are created by the curvature of the scales on their wings that reflect light in different angles, giving the appearance of color All insects and Butterflies vary slightly in size and shape. You will receive a high quality specimen of the selected item but not the exact one pictured. All insect parts are guaranteed to be top quality; sourced from ethical vendors around the world.