Imbrasia belina (Westwood, 1849)


Mopane caterpillar or mopane worm or emperor moth, Imbrasia belina (Westwood,1849) (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) is distributed throughout the southern regions of Africa. The primary name for the immature of this species is the Mopane caterpillar due to their feeding on the leaves of the mopane tree. The caterpillars are high in protein (48.3%) similar to soybean (Glew et al., 1999) and are considered an important source of food for many people throughout this region of Africa. The adults, known as the emperor moth, are quite large with conspicuous eyespots on the hind wings.


  • Glew, R.H., Jackson, D., Sena, L., VanderJagt, D.J., Pastuszyn, A. and Millson, M., 1999. Gonimbrasia belina (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae): a nutritional food source rich in protein, fatty acids, and minerals. American Entomologist 45: 250–253.


Imbrasia belina
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Order Lepidoptera
Family Saturniidae
Genus Imbrasia
Species I. belina
Author citation (Westwood, 1849)
Common names  
mopane caterpillar, mopane worm, emperor moth