Actias maenas, the Malaysian moon moth, is a species with a broad range from the mainland of most parts of the Indomalayan ecozone. They are highly sexually dimorphic, and one of the larger moon moths of the genus Actias.
- Difficulty rating: Moderate (Easy to raise, difficult to pair)
- Rearing difficulty: 5/10 (From egg to pupa)
- Pairing difficulty: 7.5/10 (Archieving copulations)
- Host plants: Liquidambar, Prunus, Rosa, Eucalyptus
- Natural range: Mainlands of tropical Asia and some islands – Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, China, India, Nepal, Bhutan – also Malaysia
- Polyphagous: yes
- Generations: Multivoltine (continuously brooded)
- Family: Saturniidae (silkmoths)
- Pupation: Cocoon (silk encasing)
- Prefered climate: Tropical (warm and humid)
- Special notes: Both maenas and isis are difficult to pair with old adults, most pairings I have seen were from 1 to days 3 old individuals (especially males).
- Estimated wingspan: 120 – 150mm (large)
- Binomial name: Actias maenas (Doubleday, 1847)
Actias maenas is quite easy to rear in captivity, and accepts host plants within Rosaceae such as Prunus, Malus and more, and also Liquidambar, which is to be recommended for this species. Their larvae will grow quite large, but do grow slowly compared to other Actias species. I myself prefer to rear them on plant cuttings in a water bottle. The only thing that seems to be more difficult with this species is archieving pairings, it’s best to have a lot of flight space and a bit of ventilation for them. This fragile species will tatter quite fast. Males often break off their hindwing tails within a few days.
I rear the larvae in plastic boxes for the first few instars, after which I sleeve or cage them after L3, where they are less tolerant of being reared in airtight boxes as they will demand a bit more ventilation as they become larger. Larvae become quite big and spin leaves together when constructing the cocoon – as a tropical species they are continuously brooded and do not diapause. Actias maenas is more polyphagous than most people think and experimenting with host plant should be worth the effort, especially with plants within the Rosaceae family. Normally the moths hatch quite fast from their cocoons; in about a month or so.
Actias maenas is a species that can be raised by beginners from eggs to adult moths in my opinion. However, it is the pairing of the adults and completing the cycle that can be the true challenge with breeding them. It also seems that after a few generations the bloodlines of this species are generally wiped out in captivity; it perhaps does not tolerate the inbreeding very well.
Thank you for reading my article. This is the end of this page. Below you will find some useful links to help you navigate my website better or help you find more information that you need about moths and butterflies.
Dear reader – thank you very much for visiting! Your readership is much appreciated. Are you perhaps…. (see below)
- Not done browsing yet? Then click here to return to the homepage (HOMEPAGE)
- Looking for a specific species? Then click here to see the full species list (FULL SPECIES LIST)
- Looking for general (breeding)guides and information? Then click here to see the general information (GENERAL INFORMATION)
- Interested in a certain family? Then click here to see all featured Lepidoptera families (FAMILIES)
Citations: Coppens, B. (2019); Written by Bart Coppens; based on a real life breeding experience [for citations in literature and publications]
Was this information helpful to you? Then please consider contributing here (more information) to keep this information free and support the future of this website. This website is completely free to use, and crowdfunded. Contributions can be made via paypal, patreon, and several other ways.
All the funds I raise online will be invested in the website; in the form of new caresheets, but also rewriting and updating the old caresheets (some are scheduled to be rewritten), my educational websites, Youtube, breeding projects, the study of moths andconservation programs.