The Tau Emperor Moth (Aglia tau) is an insect in the Saturniidae family of emperor and royal moths.
The Tau Emperor Moth has large, lobed wings. It is brightly coloured, usually orange to brown with a large eye-spot on each of its four wings. It is a distinct marginal line across each wing. The hind wings (back wings) overlap the forewings (front wings). Its body is wide and hairy. It has feathery antennae.
Its wingspan is 6-8 centimetres (2-3 inches) across.
It is found in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is generally seen from March to July in the Northern Hemisphere.
Its life cycle is egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (cocoon), and moth.
The adult female Tau Emperor Moth lays up to 200 eggs on plant leaves. The caterpillar feeds on leaves until it pupates. It is in the cocoon where it undergoes metamorphosis for about 14 days before it emerges as an adult moth. The adult moth feeds on nectar from flowers.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM