Pleasant Hornet

Pleasant Hornet

This beautiful insect is known as a Pleasant Hornet, and it is actually a species of moth. The scientific name for it is Euchromia amoena. There is not a lot of information available despite it having a wide distribution from South Africa through to Bangladesh. In South Africa it occurs in the coastal regions of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

How did the Pleasant Hornet get its name?

As can be seen from the photograph they are brightly coloured. Perhaps the bold black, yellow and orangey-red led someone to think that it must be dangerous and decided it must be a hornet. Then someone else realised that it is harmless, so they added the “pleasant” in front of the “hornet.” I don’t know. The bright colours are probably an indication that it is poisonous or distasteful to predators.

What is known is that they are active during the day, and they have a wingspan of around 4 to 5 cm. They are attracted to flowers with a lot of pollen and are believed to favour flowers that are white in colour.

The Pleasant Hornet belongs to a group of moths known as Handmaidens. There are around 30 species of Handmaidens in South Africa and most of them have black bodies with colourful patches and bands.

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