01690 720214

Emperor Moth

Ruth Taylor (May)

I saw this female emperor moth whilst climbing at Tremadog yesterday.
Female Emperor moths fly at night but release a pheremone during the day to attract the 'daytime flying' males. The males, who can be identified by their orange hind wings, are able to detect the scent from up to a kilometer away.
In Europe they are known as Night Peacocks due to the decorative 'eyes' on the wings.
Sadly they only have a fourteen day lifespan.
They have no mouths or stomachs so they don't waste time eating eat - they just mate!

An interesting fact about the moth's cocoon is that the neck of the cocoon is extremely narrow and the emerging moth must squeeze its way slowly out of this tiny hole.

There is an interesting story that goes along with this fact. I doubt if it is true but it does help to explain the reason for the moth's struggle to exit through this tiny gap. See what you think:

One day a man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon. He sat and watched the moth struggling to force the body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. It just seemed to be stuck.

Then the man being kind decided to help the moth. So he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings which never developed further. It never was able to fly and pretty soon it died.

What the man in his kindness and haste failed to understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening was Nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom. By depriving the moth of this struggle, he deprived the emperor moth of a correct and healthy development.

Got A Date Available - Need An Adventure To Match?

Find out what's going on at the National Mountain Sports Centre between any date range on this handy new search page

Adventure Sports
Coaching Conference

Adventure Sports Coaching ConferenceOur inaugural Adventure Sports Coaching Conference will seek to explore the role of coach developers in adventure sports performance.


Christmas and New YearOn behalf of all the team at Plas y Brenin, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a H....


Scottish Winter Courses 2018Starting January 2018, our Scottish Winter courses are timed to make the most of the incredible wint....


Winter WarmersAs the nights begin to draw in and the temperature starts to drop, Plas y Brenin are pleased to offe....


Peak Performance For Plas y Brenin Paddling TeamWe are delighted to announce that we've launched an exciting new partnership with kayak clothing man....


BMC Women Outdoors Week 5-15 Aug 2017Come and get active for the BMC's Women Outdoors Week here at Plas y Brenin. We have talks, activiti....

What's On In Our bar?

Our friendly and lively bar is open to the public. From talks and lectures to film nights and live music, there's always something going on. Find out what's coming up next here

Adventure Sport
Summer Camps (Age 12-17)

Summmer Camps For Young People Aged 12-17Young climbers, mountaineers, paddlers and mtb riders aged 12-17. Develop your outdoor skills with our top coaches on one of our residential summer camps.

Enhanced Learning Credits

Enhanced Learning CreditsThe Enhanced Learning Credit Administration Service offers funding for armed forces personnel. Plas y Brenin is able to accept ELCAS funding for a few specific non residential courses.

Weather Forecast, Tides and Surf Conditions

Find out what the weather's doing in North Wales over the next five days.

Adventure Map

Working alongside UCLan
to educate
outdoor professionals

University Of Central LancashireFind out how we are working with one of the country's top universities to develop lasting careers in the outdoors.