Urania sloanus (Cramer)

Sloan’s Urania Moth (Urania sloanus)  

The so-called Swallowtail moths are actually mostly nocturnal moths, some species however, like those of the genus Urania, are diurnal and almost always extremely colorful, resembling swallowtail species (Papilionidae) to which they are not related.  


Sloan’s Urania Moth was described in 1779, it was endemic to the island of Jamaica, where it apparently was restricted to the Blue Mountains, a mountainous region in the eastern part of the island.  

The species reached a wingspan of about 7,5 cm, it was depending on the Jamaica Navelspurge (Omphalea diandra L.) and the Jamaican Cobnutspurge (Omphalea triandra L.) as larval host plants.  

Sloan’s Urania Moth was last recorded in 1894 or 1895, depending on the source, the reasons for its extinction, however, are not fully understood but may be connected with the international butterfly collecting trade, plus a probable decline of its host plants.  


Depiction from: ‘William Swainson: Zoological Illustrations or original figures and descriptions of new, rare, or interesting animals: selected chiefly from the classes of Ornithology, Entomology, and Conchology, and arranged on the principles of Cuvier and other modern zoologists. London: printed by R. and A. Taylor for Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy; and W. Wood 1820-1823’

(public domain)


edited: 12.09.2019