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Tau emperor

Aglia tau


Moth Week 2014! The Tau Emperor is a Eurasian, forest dwelling saturniid species which is absent from the UK and the Mediterranean areas. With feathery antennae and more rounded wings without a tip, this is the male of the species.


Clearing in mixed woods, alt. 1300 m ASL.


The females of this species are rather nocturnal, while the the diurnal males can be seen through open woodland on sunny mornings as was the case here. While this may not seem optimum to facilitate mating, receptive female are second to none to attract males, and males more than well equipped to detect them through their feathery antennae. This is a species of open woodlands to alt. of up to 1600 m ASL, with a preference for beech (Fagus sylvatica).

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32 Comments (1–25)

DanielePralong 4 years ago

Thanks Maria and Leuba!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 4 years ago

Congratulations Daniele ! Interesting behaviour.

Maria dB
Maria dB 4 years ago

Congratulations on your SOTD, Daniele. Interesting information

DanielePralong 4 years ago

Thanks Satyen and Charlie :-)

CharliePrice 4 years ago

Such a glorious Moth ..congrats :) enjoyed reading the notes.

Wild Things
Wild Things 4 years ago

Congrats Daniele!

DanielePralong 4 years ago

Thanks Joshua and António!

Beautiful capture Daniéle,perfect series,congrats on the very well deserved double honor SOTD and also MOM (Moth of the Month) :-)

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 4 years ago

Very nice, congrats.

DanielePralong 4 years ago

Thanks everyone!

MaryL 4 years ago

Congratulations! Great pics!

daniellesmart02 4 years ago

Congrats Daniele! Awesome shots!

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 4 years ago

Congrats Daniele!!!Nice!!

SukanyaDatta 4 years ago

Congrats Daniele. Wau on the Tau!!! Really Wow,

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 years ago

Congratulations, Daniele. This is a wonderful spotting :-)

arlanda 4 years ago

Congratulations, Daniele! Beautiful moth!

DanielePralong 4 years ago

Thanks for the honor Yasser, and thank you so much for your kind words! I too I am looking forwards to the years to come :-) I hope everyone who stops here will take a little time to read into the fascinating biology of this moth: check the notes and the exchanges in the comments :-) And thanks Leana and Mark!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 years ago

With a name like that maybe it should be from China? Congratulations.

Congratulations Daniele on this SOTD!

Yasser 4 years ago

Daniele, this gorgeous moth is not only our Spotting of the Day, but also our Moth of the Month! :) This is a wonderful series with great detail and reminds us of the fun we had this past Moth Week. I can't wait for next year! As always, thank you so much for all that you do for the PN community. You've been a core part of our backbone for many years now and we owe you so much.


Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 years ago


DanielePralong 4 years ago

Emperor, Mark :-)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 years ago

Beautiful. Tau emerald ?! :) So much for common names.

DanielePralong 5 years ago

Thanks J! It was a lucky spot, rising sun in a clearing first thing in the morning. It looked like it had recently emerged. I had only ever seen the caterpillar before. It was so nice I ran after my husband to get him back to show him :-) Did you read the note about the male/female differences in day/night flight time? Fascinating!

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 5 years ago

Daniele, this is an absolutely marvelous series of a gorgeous moth! And how spectacular to see it in such lovely sunlight!

Spotted by

Vaud, Switzerland

Lat: 46.50, Long: 6.93

Spotted on Jun 20, 2014
Submitted on Jul 22, 2014

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