Aoraia mairi (Buller)

Buller’s Swift Moth (Aoraia mairi)  

This species was described on the basis of a single specimen, which had been found in the year 1867 in the Ruahine Range on New Zealand’s North Island.  

The moth reached a wingspan of about 15 cm.  

The type specimen, unfortunately, was lost in the 19th century, all that remained is the depiction, produced for the species description.  


The caterpillars of the swift moths live in the wood of live and dead plants, they often reach remarkable sizes – some such giant caterpillars, which may have possibly turned out to be the larvae of Buller’s Swift Moth, had been found around 1985 in the Orongorongo Range on the North Island of New Zealand, however, they unfortunately died before they could pupate.  


Depiction from: ‘W. L. Buller: Notice of a New Species of Moth in New Zealand. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 5: 279-280. 1872’  

(public domain)


edited: 22.09.2020