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Slake moths are a species of large, predatory butterfly-like creatures that first appear in Perdido Street Station. Slake moths are known to exist in several extra-dimensional planes simultaneously, making them especially difficult to kill.

Slake moths originate from the Fractured Land and were first brought to New Crobuzon via trade with the Shards, under the orders of Mayor Bentham Rudgutter for experiments and the distribution of narcotic byproducts.



Slake moths are unusual predators who feed on the consciousness of sentient creatures. As larvae, slake moths can only subsist on the Dreamshit produced by adult slake moths. Once the larvae mature, they are able to hunt for their own food.

Artist's Rendition of a Slake Moth and Victim


Slake moths are highly intelligent and communal predators, and are naturally inclined to seek out other moths to increase their hunting effectiveness. Slake moths are also known to single out specific targets for hunting, such as one of the scientists of the slake moth research project.

Life Cycle[]

Slake moths begin their lives as larvae. These caterpillar-like creatures feed on slake moth "milk" from the female which is raising them (the milk can be cut with other chymicals to create dreamshit), which is produced from minds digested by the adults. Once it has eaten enough, the caterpillar will enter a cocoon and begin its metamorphosis into an adult.

Adult slake moths hunt for the psychic emanations of a self-aware mind; once the slake moth detects these emanations, it mesmerizes the victim with colorful patterns on its wings generated by oneirochromatophores. It then extends its tongue into the mouth or other orifices of the victim, into the brain, and sucks out the mind while leaving the physical organ intact. Victims are left alive, but completely lacking any consciousness.


Slake moths are hermaphrodites, and even a small population can quickly escalate into a plague.


The director of the slake moth research project, Montague Vermishank, suggests that there are predators which prey on the slake moths in their native land. However, on the Rohagi continent, there are no natural predators to keep the slake moth population in check.

Slake moths and New Crobuzon[]

Prior to 1779[]

Prior to the events of Perdido Street Station in 1779, the New Crobuzon government was able to obtain several slake moths from traders in the very south of the large island chain known as the Shards.

Parliament established a research project into the slake moths and the substance that they produced, known as Dreamshit. Despite years of research, the project fails to yield results for its financiers, and the head of the project, New Crobuzon professor Montague Vermishank, begins to sell off the slake moths to the powerful crime lord Motley in order to recoup expenses.

Events of Perdido Street Station (1779)[]

After sending out a call for winged subjects to study, Isaac Dan Der Grimnebulin unwittingly came into possession of a Slake Moth larvae meant to be studied by Parliament. After realizing that it craved Dreamshit, Isaac fed it large quantities of the drug in the hopes that he could find out what the creature was. The larvae eventually formed a cocoon around itself and soon emerged as a juvenile Slake Moth. After consuming the mind of Lublamai Dadscatt, the Slake Moth escaped into the sky of New Crobuzon.

It swiftly located the others of its kind, kept by the crime boss Motley, and freed them. What followed were days of nightmarish predation on the citizens of New Crobuzon as the Moths ran rampant. Due to the lack of natural predators, they preyed upon the city's populace with impunity. They then began to reproduce after one of them changed its sex to female, potentially creating an unstoppable population of moths. Parliament made an attempt to destroy the Moths using specialized pairs of Handlingers, but the handlingers were outmatched and destroyed.

Isaac, with the help of Lemuel Pidgeon, the Construct Council, and several adventurers, managed to track the Moths to the Cactus Glasshouse, where they managed to destroy the newly laid eggs. Two of the adventurers and Lemuel Pidgeon perished in the attempt.

The living Slake Moths were eventually tricked into consuming massively amplified brain-emanations in a trap set for them with the help of the Construct Council. The overload of food caused the stomachs of all but one moth to rupture and kill them. The final Slake Moth fled and was tracked to Motley's base, where it was finally destroyed by members of his gang wielding flamethrowers.

As a result of the "Nightmare Plague" which had ravaged the city, Isaac was heavily sought after by the Militia. As this endangered all of his aquaintances as well, Bellis Coldwine was forced to flee the city in The Scar.

See also[]