The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Yellow-sleeved Maiden

Afrikaans name:

Yellow-sleeved Maiden

Yellow-sleeved Maiden moth

Photo © Steven Herbert

Ceryx anthraciformis

The Yellow-sleeved Moth is a member of the moth family even though it may not appear so. It is brightly coloured and flies during the daytime.

In South Africa this moth can be found along the southern, eastern and northern regions. It appears to only occur at lower altitudes. They prefer open bushveld habitats but may also be found on grassy hillsides.

It is thought to have a 'chemical' defense whereby it stores toxins from certain plants in its body which helps put off would be predators. Many species of insects found in grassy habitats are cryptically coloured and shaped to blend in with the grass. Obviously, this is not the case with the Yellow-sleeved Moth which indicates to me that it is found on flowering plants within grassy areas.

According to Biodiversity Explorer there are 6 species from the genus Ceryx found in southern Africa. If I refer to the book "Southern African Moths and their Caterpillars" by Staude, Picker and Griffiths, the above photo may actually be Ceryx fulvescens.

References and further reading

Pocket Guide - Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker & Charles Griffiths - Published: 2015 - Page: 112

Field Guide to Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving - Published: 0 - Page: 324

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