Usta terpsichore

Usta terpsichore
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Saturniidae
Genus: Usta
Species: U. terpsichore
Binomial name
Usta terpsichore
(Maassen & Weymer, 1885)
  • Saturnia terpsichore Maassen & Weymer, 1885
  • Heniocha abyssinica Aurivillius, 1898
  • Usta yaere Darge, 1994

Usta terpsichore, the cavorting emperor, is a species of moth in the Saturniidae family. It is found in Angola, Burkina Faso, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.[1]

The larvae feed on Commiphora caryaefolia, Sclerocarya caffra, Melia azedarach and Schinus molle. Fully grown larvae are about 80 mm long.

The larvae are used as food by locals. They are rich in iron, copper, zinc, thiamine and riboflavin. It is also relatively high in calcium and phosphorus compared to many insects.[2]


Some sources list a number of subspecies, while others treat most of these as full species and/or synonyms:

  • Usta terpsichore subangulata Bouvier, 1930 (mostly treated as a full species)
  • Usta terpsichore grantae Terral & Lequeux, 1991 (mostly treated as a full species)
  • Usta terpsichore alba Terral & Lequeux, 1991 (mostly treated as a full species)
  • Usta terpsichore abyssinica (Aurivillius, 1898) (mostly treated as a synonym)
  • Usta terpsichore yaere Darge, 1994 (mostly treated as a synonym)


  1. "AfroMoths". Retrieved 2017-07-26.
  2. "". Archived from the original on 2013-05-17. Retrieved 2017-07-26.

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