The term ‘Vampire Moth’ is not directed at a specific moth but rather the entire calyptra moth family. The reason these moths are often dubbed as ‘Vampire Moths’ is because of their distinct proboscis than is used to puncture skin of animals and fruit alike and drain the inner fluid. Moths species of moths are no threat to humans and the same is true of the Vampire Moth’s as they are no believed to carry harmful diseases like other blood sucking insects such as mosquitoes.
The Vampire Moths are commonly found in Malaysia, and southern Europe but are now more commonly being sighted outside of the regions which is likely due to global warming. Although reports of these unique moths biting humans in Asia were very common before the turn of the century it was only in 1999 that anyone actually took the time to study these moths and it was officially confirmed that these ‘Vampire Moths’ were indeed capable of extracting human blood.
Only the males of the species drink blood and compared to a mosquito bite the Vampire Moths bite is more irritating and can be swore for a couple of hours before settling down. The reason the Vampire Moths bites are more ‘severe’ is likely because of the rocking motion that the moth uses to puncture the skin and unlike a mosquito there is no sucking involved, the Vampire Moth uses the animals own blood pressure to force the blood up its proboscis.
It is believed that the art of the Vampire Moths blood sucking is a natural progression from using its proboscis to pierce fruit and it is common to see these moths drinking from large mammals and fruit alike, only being noticed feeding on humans as contact between humans and the Vampire Moths increases.