Great Peacock Moth Saturnia pyri
The other evening we found this huge (6 or so inches) moth on the wall outside our house in Southern France. It turns out that this is the largest moth found in Europe. The regular size black and white moth is sitting next to her so you can see how big she is. This huge moth is a female whose only job is to lay eggs and then die. I’m being literal because her life span, as a moth, is 7 days. The lady doesn’t even get a last meal since she doesn’t eat.The virgin female will find a spot on a wall or a tree and emit nightly sex pheromones. The male who could be up to 5 km away, will pick up the scent and come calling. Only one male will mate with the beautiful lady moth. As soon as they have mated, she stops sending out pheromones, and then she finds a place to lay her eggs and that’s about it for her.