In October 2017, many Facebook users offered reactions ranging from puzzlement to terror upon encountering a video that appeared to show a strange moth-like insect with several large tufted tendrils extending from its abdomen:
The unusual creature seen in the video seems to be a Creatonotos gangis moth, a species of arctiine moth found in Southeast Asia and Australia. As noted in a page devoted to the odd-looking insect, the tendril-like objects attached to its abdomen are scent organs:
Creatonotos is an unassuming moth that lives in South-east Asia (China, India, Japan, Thailand) and northern Australia. These diminutive moths are famous for making a nuisance of themselves in pomegranate trees.
His white, black, red and yellow hues make him an attractive member of the moth family, but it’s not his colouring that initially draws the eye.
The moth’s characteristic that really turns heads are those massive furry things streaking away from the Creatonotos’ abdomen; those dangly organs are its scent organs, called coremata. The coremata (or hair-pencils) produce the pheromone hydroxydanaidal to attract their mates.
Here’s another view of Creatonotos gangis: