30 April 2010

Rhino Moth

Samanala Kanda (Butterfly Mountain) is another name for Sri Pada. There is a belief that butterflies go to the mountain to pay respect. Actually you find lot of butterflies in Peak Wilderness Area.

I did not see any butterflies at the top of the mountain but I saw hundreds of these peculiar moths. They were flying in numbers towards the mountain top and were resting at the top. In fact it looks like they have made their last journey there, as the fatigue of flying that altitude has made them extremely weary. I saw many of them fallen dead at the top of the mountain.

This particular moth, picked by one of us from the floor was a lucky one, as otherwise he would have definitely squashed by one of the passer-by. Doesn’t he look like a rhinoceros?


Betsy Banks Adams said...

Very interesting moth, K..... Interesting how they are drawn to the mountain...

Thanks for sharing.

Sankara Subramanian said...

Very interesting indeed. A first time for me to see a rhino moth...and he sure does have a small horn :-)

Kirigalpoththa said...

Some flies and moths are drawn to light sources.The path up the mountain is lit during night. Also the top of the mountain there is a temple and it is properly lit too. Perhaps these moths come after the light. this is just my thought. :)

I just named him that way cos of its rhino like antenna. :) Hope someone will identify this moth properly.

Thanks a lot :)

Thanks all for your comments!

rainfield61 said...

The life of little critters is always fragile. I can see many milliepedes have been squashed by anyone of us along my hiking trail.

NicoleB, Egypt said...

That's one cool looking moth. Darn :D
And a lucky one, as you say :)
I'm sure Karma pays back one day :)

Janith said...

Wow, lovely moth... certainly does look like a rhino! :D

Dee said...


Kirigalpoththa said...

Yes they face many dangers during their very short lifespan.

At least he might have lived hour or two longer :)

Hey, good to see you after some time. Nothing wrong me naming it that way.. right?

Thanks a lot!

Harshi said...

I too have heard of this legend from mom that there's a season for all the butterflies to visit the summit of Sri Pada mountain. And they gather from all corners of Lanka and meet up there. It'll be nice if someone does a research and find out what causes them to do so.

And it's my first time seeing this moth. It does have a tiny horn, so might be a distant cousin of the rhino family. =D

betchai said...

hahah, i had to look at the picture, again and again since the moth looked like a bat to me, beautiful and unique capture.

B i r g i t t a said...

Yes a little rhino :) how wonderful it is when the details are seen through the lense - I love macro :)

Anonymous said...

Unicorn moth!
Its caterpillars feed on corn leaves. Ha ha...

You saw any maize there?

Knatolee said...

We have moths like that here. Masters of camouflage!

Kirigalpoththa said...

Thanks for completing the 'story' about butterflies and Samanala Kanda. Also I hear there are more butterflies during Sri Pada season. I too think it is a good topic for a research.

Really? It has a funny wing. May be that is why you saw it like a bat. I think the moths are too nocturnal like bats.

Birgitta "foto CHIP",
Yes it is the rhino of bug world :)

Really? Thanks for that info. There are similar plants in nearby villages.

Glad to know that. It will be very difficult to spot them in the jungle.

Thanks for your comments.

Thanks all for your wonderful comments!

George said...

This is a fascinating moth. Thank you for the explanation of what might be drawing the moths to the mountain top.

Sharodindu said...

Be carefull ..they can hurt!
we here in bengal call it Maal poka...they fight with each other to take control of other's matet ;)

Willie a.k.a Reptoz said...

Nice shot of the butterfly. Anyway, I have added your link to my photography blog.

Kirigalpoththa said...

You are welcome :)

Thanks for the interesting trivia. They are bit nasty when it comes to mating habits..aren't they? :)

Thanks a lot for the link back :)

Wild Sri Lanka said...

Nice macro! very curious indeed,worth looking in to what really draws them there.

The Puppeteer said...

Neat pic! And yes, that moth looks prehistoric... like it's right from the permian period.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Wild Sri Lanka,
Yep, As Harumi mentioned it'll be a good research topic for a scientist.

Really! Are moths coming from that period? I am only good at identifying Jurassic reptiles thanks to Spielberg. :)

Loshini said...

I like his little feet if that's what you call them :D

Kirigalpoththa said...

They have branched out aren't they?
Thanks for the comments!