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Brief Summary

Thysania agrippina (Noctuidae: Catocalinae) has the largest reported wing span of all Lepidoptera, although numerous very large species are known from several lepidopteran families, notably the Saturniidae (giant silk moths), Sphingidae (hawk moths), Noctuidae (owlet moths), and Papilionidae (swallowtails). Based on spread specimens, this neotropical species is reported to have a wingspan ranging from around 260 to 290mm--but the wingspan may be closer to 300 mm in the moth's natural resting position. Although published, rigorously made and described measurements are few, there nevertheless appears to be no doubt that T. agrippina has the greatest wingspan among lepidopterans. In wing area, however, some South Asian saturniid moths reportedly surpass T. agrippina. (Kons 1998 and references therein, with updates from 2000 and 2005)


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© Shapiro, Leo

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