I know this moth is terrible to behold. The four "scent organs" undulating and throbbing. The many, many hairs sprouting out of each tendril like it's about to take root. The thorax, wiggling around like a creep on the dance floor. But fear is an irrational reaction, it's our instinctive response to the unknown. Knowledge is the antidote. Let's learn a little bit about our little friend, the Creatonotos gangis.
Those four wiggling nightmares sprouting from its butt aren't so scary, they're just uh... sex tubes for attracting mates. You see they... inflate with sex pheromone juices that are... uh... secreted by the male. According to Boppre and Schneider in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, "The reproductive biology of the arctiid moths Creatonotos transiens and C. gangis exhibits a novel ontogenetic phenomenon, the morphogenesis of male coremata size being directly controlled by the quantity of hostplant-derived pyrrolizidine alkaloids ingested by the larvae."
I don't know what half of those words mean, and I still threw up in my mouth. Maybe the paper gets less graphic. Let's see, "The males possess inflatable androconial organs..." hurp alright that's pretty gross, skipping ahead here... "The larvae of both species are brown and very hairy..." UGH. Okay, okay. Let's all take a deep breath. They can't help how they're born, appearances aren't everything, and--
"Before starting to feed (about 24 h) after a moult, they consume their old skin."
NO. STOP IT. KILL THEM. KILL THEM ALL WITH FIRE.
Are... are they dead? Is it safe?
"When disturbed, the moths feign death..."
Oh god. They might not be dead.
"...simultaneously, small droplets of haemolymph may be exuded from a pair of prothoracic glands."
Ahghkglh;dhkg they exude HAEMOLYMPH from their GLANDS. To trick us into thinking they're dead but they're still alive and ready to use their sex noodles to get sex to make MORE OF THEM. Jesus CHRIST. Well at least it's just text and not pictures--
Hah. Okay. First of all, no, no thank you, I will not note the "different shape of the coremata." I'm going to close my computer, throw it in the garbage, fill the garbage with concrete, put it into an air-tight metal container, steal a spaceship, shoot the container into the sun, and fly myself into the sterile safety of space. Ciao suckers.
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