Battra's name most likely comes from the common Japanese practice of shortening two words to make one; in this case the combination of the Japanese spelling of Battle Mothra (Batoru Mosura), as described in the Super Godzilla video game manual. It was also said to be "Black Mothra" (as described in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth).
Like Mothra, Battra has both larva and imago forms. Battra's imago form has a predominately black body with very large wings that have patterns of red, black and yellow. He also has yellow horns in his head, six legs, and red eyes which glow purple when firing his beam, as well as a red line which runs down his body's sides.
His larval form is mostly black but with a lot of yellow and a dark red underside. He also has a giant horn, similar to Destoroyah's, which is yellow and glows when he uses his beam, and two tusks on each cheek. Battra's larval form also has bigger, more powerful legs than Mothra's larval form which are yellow and horn-like. Much like his imago form, his eyes are red.
Twelve thousand years ago, the spirit of Earth created Battra (A.K.A the Black Mothra). Battra was created to destroy a device built by an ancient civilization to control Earth's climate. Battra began to do his job well beyond his purpose and Mothra was forced to intervene. There was a huge battle between Mothra and Battra. When Mothra finally won, Battra was laid to rest in the North Sea, while Mothra survived in the mountains with the Cosmos. Unlike his benevolent twin Mothra, Battra sees humanity as a blight on Earth, and won't stop until humanity is removed from the planet. It's because of this that Battra came into conflict with Mothra, who seems intent on protecting humanity.Thousands of years later, Battra was awoken by a meteorite in Siberia. Battra swam to the coast of Japan and burrowed, reappearing and attacking Nagoya. The JSDF fought Battra but were no match, and Battra left a wrecked city behind as he burrowed again. Battra appeared in the waters off the archipelago of the Philippines, where Godzilla and Mothra were battling. Battra engaged Godzilla, who was the bigger threat. The two monsters battled down to the sea floor in the Philippine Trench, where a volcanic eruption supposedly killed them. But Battra and Godzilla lived on, appearing near Mount Fuji, with Godzilla exiting an erupting volcano and Battra emerging from the ocean's depths. Upon metamorphosing from his larval form, he flew to Tokyo to exact his revenge on Mothra. The sinister moth seemed to have an upper hand against his less violent counterpart, but soon, in the heat of the battle, Godzilla appeared. Mothra and Battra teamed up to combat Godzilla together in defense of both Earth and humankind. Once Godzilla was defeated, Battra and Mothra carried him out to sea. However, Godzilla, still conscious, killed Battra by attacking him with an atomic ray at point-blank range while he was being transported. Godzilla and Battra dropped into the ocean below. For giving Battra a final farewell, Mothra flew around in a circle, creating a glyph of friendship to her beloved companion.
In its larval form, Battra was a horribly brutal opponent who was relentless and remorseless in its attack. In this form, he wielded a massive yellow horn which could be put to use as a battering ram or bludgeoning weapon. From the horn, he was also capable of firing off furious electrical blasts of an orange-yellow color. He could fire similar electrical blasts of a purple color from his crimson eyes. However, these beams would often fly wildly about, Battra not appearing to have precise control over their direction. The titanic larva could also create energy pulses from his massive horn as another form of attack.
In its imago form, Battra had lost the ability to burrow or swim, but attained flight at mach 3 with its new wings, allowing for easier and more efficient travel for further destruction. The once prominent horn had disappeared and had been replaced with three smaller horns. These horns were incapable of releasing energy anymore, but Battra had developed more powerful optic beams, known as "Prism" beams. Unlike the beams used in his larval form, adult Battra had complete control over the Prism Beams, which also are far more powerful in this form. He also had developed three pairs of legs and would utilize them for grasping objects. The imago form of Battra could also release an "energy shock" from its feet in order to subdue foes while in close combat. However, in the manga adaptation of Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth, the dark insect can unleash damaging energy spheres from his horn, discharge energy through the stinger-like attachment on his tail, and instantly form his cocoon which also acts as a defensive shield.
In Godzilla Island episode 166 "Baby Mothra Awakes", Battra can also emit powder from his wings just like Mothra except that the powder is red instead of yellow like Mothra's.
Battra has appeared in Super Godzilla for the SNES, as well as Godzilla: Battle Legends. Battra also appeared in Destroy All Monsters in one of Mothra's attacks. In Godzilla: Save the Earth, Battra could be summoned via a particular power up, similar to what Mothra did in the Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee and has a playable appearance of the Nintendo DS game Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash and for the PS2 version only Godzilla: Unleashed.
- Battra is also the name of a bird-like charabom in Bomberman Jetters.
- Battra's roar is actually an edited version of Rodan's roar.
- Within Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth, there is a continuity discrepancy involving Battra that deserves mention. In the film, the Cosmos explain Battra's origins and it's defeat at the hands of Mothra. They state that Battra's body (either lifeless or still barely alive) was deposited in the Northern Sea. Thousands of years later, in 1993, Battra emerges, in his larval form, from his Siberian ice prison and departs the Northern Sea, heading for Japan. However, the cave painting on Infant Island clearly depicts an adult Battra in combat with Mothra. This raises several questions about the nature of Battra itself, including a possibility of the Battra from 12,000 years ago being a different Battra altogether, and the 1993 Battra being a second creature created by Earth's life force (probably from the remains of the original Battra). If they are, in fact, the same creature, then the fact that it emerges 12,000 years after it's defeat, once again in it's larval form is a contradiction that can only be reconciled by the viewer's personal opinion on the matter. Of course, if Battra is able to reincarnate and become a larva again, like Mothra, then the contradiction can be explained. This reincarnation ability would also indicate that Battra is not permanently dead, only resting until he is needed again. It is possible that Battra can revert back to larva form at will.
- Battra was originally meant to be an evil twin of Mothra named "Gigamoth" whose abilities resemble Hedorah in an unmade film, but this project was scrapped and replaced with Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth.
- In Godzilla: Save the Earth, Battra is seen helping the player when they are fighting via the particular power up, as seen in the video at 4:23-4:24 and the whole fight, during the fight between Godzilla 90's and Godzilla 2000.
- Battra makes a cameo as stock footage from Godzilla vs Mothra in Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla when the characters are explaining how SpaceGodzilla came to be.
- Battra is the only monster in the Heisei series who's origin is not at all influenced by Godzilla.