mothIt appears that sightings of the tropical swallow tail moth have nearly petered out. Flying in to all corners of the North, South, East and West, our large, velvety brown friends earlier made quite the splash in significant numbers outside of their usual cyclical appearance (May to August). But it now looks like the glitzy urban lights are no longer able to hold sway their attention.

It’s hard to pinpoint what contributed to the flurry of sightings. But one thing’s for sure. Their habitat is shrinking fast.

With lots of building projects underway, there’s been considerable destruction of their habitat: mature secondary and primary lowland rainforests. One effect of this urbanisation is the reduction in observations of moths.

But what’s left of the rainforest also puts nature closer to the doorstep of new residences. The new proximity to urban lights could have triggered some sort of temporal exodus from their forest habitats since moths have a phototactic disposition – which draws them to light.

That’s just a hunch. I’d love to hear any other explanations for this phenomenon.  For now, Lyssa Zampa, it looks like your banner days of limelight are over.

Fade to white.




Posted by:Thomas Danny Jeyaseelan

I've been working for over 7 years at Science Centre Singapore... a place I've come to call "home" where science befriends and transforms me day by day! I love communications and this blog has given me a terrific opportunity to express myself in writing. I continually aspire to engage the community through my contributions. And would love to hear back from readers like you if you have something interesting to share (please leave a comment!). That would really encourage me! Am also looking forward to hitting the centennial mark with 100 posts. Am nearly 70% there. ;) I hope you have a great online experience on Stir-fried Science, enjoy all science has to offer, and be inspired to make or be the difference you wish to see in the communities you find yourself in.

2 replies on “On a Fast Fade – Lyssa Zampa sightings

  1. I share the sentiments. Maybe the loss of their natural habitats might have cause the flurry of sightings nearer to urban residences. I wonder if we will see the same next year.


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