Giant Moths Descend on Malaysia
Though alarming, moth swarms not dangerous
By Shelley Hazen, Newser User
Posted Jun 11, 2014 1:29 PM CDT

(Newser) – To some they represent the souls of dead relatives, to others they are beautiful pollinators, but to many they are just plain creepy. What are they? Giant Lyssa Zampa moths, swarms of which have descended on Malaysian homes and even a football match, the BBC reports. “The moths are actually present during other times of the year but in very small numbers, so they are usually not noticed by people," explains a biology lecturer—but right now they're very noticeable, as they are swarming in the thousands.

Though the moths—which have a six-inch wingspan—emerge every year from April to August, the lecturer does admit that this latest wave is "unprecedented." The insects have also been bothering Singapore, where 800 sightings were reported last month. But experts assure the moths do not cause disease or inflame allergies. "The moths are harmless and the public has nothing to be afraid of," says one. Still, it sounds gross: As one local said last week, according to the Straits Times, "[I] always find them dead on the side of the buildings in the mornings." (Over the holidays in Appalachia, freckle-sized bugs waged a war on Christmas trees.)

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Jun 11, 2014 7:46 PM CDT
And yet Malaysian officials are still having difficulty finding them...
Jun 11, 2014 4:54 PM CDT
Heh, heh, heh. No one ever suspects the butterfly, er, uhm, I mean MOTH!
Jun 11, 2014 4:05 PM CDT
I don't know what kind they are but I've seen huge moths where I live. In high school one flew into my friend's face at a football game, I though a bird was attacking her.