Sunfire Moth

Overview

  The Sunfire Moth was a species that scholars thought was lost to time and war. They were an ancient species, they even had entries in the Great Library, the first dating centuries ago.   After the Times of War they seemed to vanish. Not even the Druids knew where the Sunfire Moth went. They cared for the butterflies which had their home in the Emerald Planes.   But now they were found again by an archaeologist called Gavín. His discovery stirred the entirety of the scholars in Hulwar.    

Data

  With a wingspan of 25 to 30 centimetres, they are among the largest known moths and, at 400 cm², have the largest wing surface area of this group of animals. Females grow larger than males. The body of the animals is small in relation to the wing lengths. The body is mostly brown with a few veins all over it; those veins glow when the butterfly had devoured enough sunlight.   It has two antennas with which it "scans" its surroundings. The Sunfire Moth has two small eyes on each side of the head and no mouth. It feeds on sunlight - literally - which is not only their food but also their defensive and offensive capabilities.   The Sunfire Moth can fly and hover as long as it has sunlight energy and can travel long distances if needed. Speaking of sunlight energy: Sunfire Moths glow the whole time unless their energy is depleted.    

Lifecycle

  The Sunfire Moth mate after three months if they have found a partner. The moth itself is pretty lazy in general, as they only need sunlight to exist. Eighty percent of the polulation finds a partner, the rest cease to exist. The dead turn to ash a few seconds after their life ends.   Both male and female dance around each other, mostly for one day and one night. If the male has enough energy to mate, it extends its fingerlong penis and places a blob of slimy goo inside the female. The male depart and perish soon after this, while the female develops one to three eggs and glue them somewhere in the crown of a tree, where the egg can take in sunlight. A day after laying the egg the female also dies.   The caterpillars of the Sunfire Moth hatch after a few days (mostly 5) when they intaked enough sunlight to dissolve the skin of the eggs with their saliva. The caterpillar, looking like a glowing sausage with white hair, attempt to climb the tree to its very top to take more sunlight in. When reaching a critical limit the Sunfire Moth caterpillar use its white hair and its saliva to built a cocoon. While dissolving into glowing goo and building a new form the caterpillar loses its mouth, the rest of the white hair and develops the two antennas and the eyes.   After another four days a tiny Sunfire Moth breaks out in a burst of heat and sunlight - and maybe a little bit of fire - enfold its wings and tries to find a spot for living where it normally stays the rest of its life.    

Habitat

  The Sunfire Moth can live in every region of Koria when there is enough sunlight they can devour, even in the northern realms. With its own heat it can survive the freezing cold and resist the burning heat of places like Pisocenia. Although it prefers the sunflower field of Hulwar, the green plains of the Emerald Planes and  

Behaviour

  The Sunfire Moth is the most chilled moth-like type of insects in Koria. You can pat it - carefully! - and even guide it inside a cage or a glass. Or to safety, the Moth hasn't have any sense of danger. Be careful not to hurt it, otherwise it burn you to a nice well-done steak.   Besides from this the Sunfire Moth lives chilled and high on sunlight in its chosen location until mating time. It may search for a safe space when a storm approaches, otherwise it stays mostly in the same area.  

(Natural) Enemies

  The only natural enemy of the Sunfire Moth is the Red-Eye Spider. It doesn't need to eat the Sunfire Moth, but they are tasty. And while the Sunfire Moth has no sense of danger it gets eaten brutally.  

Tales

 
"Son, I said it to you multiple times: do not anger the Sunfire Moth."
— Crying father at his sons burned corpse
   
"We used them as light sources. Or firestarters. We could draw power from them as they stored literal sunlight in their bodies. But they got rare and were the huge exception to use."
— Garladan scholar in his book concerning Sunfire Moths
   
"I used them for blinding or burning my targets. Throw them in a glass at your target or shatter it before the target and the Moth burns everything in their close proximity. So run before that happens. I mean, you can also throw the Moth and a burlap of sulfur or flour, mixed with a little bit of sugar. It creates the most beautiful, hot, and devastating explosion you ever see in your life on its death."
— Retired assassin to his soon-to-be-dead sixth wife
   
"It is a shame to catch a Sunfire Moth and keep it for yourself. They are pretty rare these days and so they can't reproduce. Release it tomorrow, that is an order."
— Sorcerer to its pupil
Fire Butterfly by Midjourney


Cover image: Fire Butterfly by Midjourney

Comments

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20 Jul, 2022 22:04

Godzilla better stay away from these moths.

5 Aug, 2022 14:33

Little joyful creatures of mass destruction!   The Idee on a totally solar-operating bug is alreeady pretty cool, having it to use Fireballs when it get angered is even cooler... or better "hotter" !?


Hey there, why not take a look at my Summer Camp entries or my Summercamp Reading challenge?   Or the all new On the shoulder of giants challenge