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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Unidentified Moth.

The specimen photographed is definitely a Moth as it has a threadlike feathery antennae, which is a positive identification characteristic of a moth. The location where the specimen was seen is in the Bukit Larut foothills in the early afternoon during late June. With its flashy colors, it is highly probable to be toxic.

There is supposedly some 200,000 species of moths identified and many more yet to discovered, perhaps amounting to a million or more species. Coming across an unidentified moth when taken from such a perspective becomes almost probable. Moths can be found in almost every part of the world except in Antarctica and the oceans with the biggest diversity to be found in the tropics.

Moth being an insect has a body divided into three main parts—head, thorax, and abdomen—and have three pairs of jointed legs. Two antennae protrude from the head which serves as smelling organs, enabling the moth to scent for food and potential partners for mating from a distant away. The thorax, of a moth is the thickest of the body segments. It houses the flight muscles, legs and wings. A moth wings are large in proportion to its body which are made of two membranes with a network of stiff veins between the layers. The scales covering the wings give moths their colors and patterns.

Next comes the abdomen, inside the abdomen are the heart, respiratory and digestive systems, and reproductive organs. Moths breath through breathing holes called spiracles, found on the sides of the abdomen. In females, their abdomens tend to be fuller and blunter to those of the males because of the larger reproductive organs inside.

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