The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa


Afrikaans name: Unknown

One of the Emeralds group of moths

Photo © Steven Herbert

Possible id: Comostolopis germana

Emeralds are a group of similar moths that tend to be green or brown, often with wavy lines. As far as I can tell this is Comostolopis germana. They belong to the family Geometridae which includes around 23,000 species.

It has a wingspan of around 2 cm. The wings are green with a cream leading edge to the wings.

These moths are found over most of the eastern regions of South Africa. These moths settle on green foliage and are very well camouflaged when at rest. The brown-coloured members of their genus are equally well camouflaged when settled on fallen leaves.

Their larvae go under a variety of names including inchworms. They get this name by the way they raise the central part of their bodies when moving along which gives the impression that they are measuring the ground.

References and further reading

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 165

Southern African Moths & Their Caterpillars - Author: Staude, Picker and Griffiths - Published: 2023 - Page: 238

Field Guide to Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving - Published: 0 - Page: 334


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