Edible monkeys moths are large, brownish, slow-flapping moths. These moths had a wingspan of about 100mm. One could view them as somewhat drab on first inspection, but they are beautifully patterned and rather beautiful.
Edible monkeys have the almost unpronounceable scientific name of Striphnopteryx edulis and were named in 1847 from specimens collected by a French naturalist, Adulphe Delegorgue.
The generic or first name means ‘firm winged’ and obviously refers to the fact that the wings of moths in this group, generally called monkey moths, are strong .The specific or second name means ‘edible’ and may indicate that the caterpillars or moths can be eaten – but not necessarily by humans.
Although these night-flying moths are well known, because they are attracted to light and commonly enter our homes, they are otherwise poorly understood.
They feed on indigenous plants such as Tecomaria (Cape honeysuckle) and Cordia (Septee Tree).