Holy Giant Moths, Batman!
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 400 • f 5.6 • 1/200 sec
Imagine waking up to one of these fluttering around your room. EEK! Really, the Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) is harmless. It’s just so huge, it would probably still freak anyone out to find one just chilling on your doorpost like this. We found this female laying eggs first thing in the morning, so everyone wanted to crowd around and gawk. The Atlas is the largest moth in Southeast Asia, and some claim in the world. The female can have a wingspan of up to 10-12 in (25-30 cm) and a total wing surface area of 62 sq in (400 sq cm). No wonder they stink at flying! Also, no one can agree on why they have their name. Some claim they are named Atlas because of the Greek titan who held up the world, and others say their wings look like maps. The Cantonese name translates to “snake’s head moth” because of the shape of their wing tips.
The most interesting fact I found about this moth was that they have no mouths! The adults only live for about 2 weeks, surviving off the fat stores from their larval stage. So pretty much all they do is find a mate, lay eggs, and die. That’s if they don’t get eaten by something else first. Not such an interesting life, if you ask me. They’re only useful in North India, where their silk is harvested, and Taiwan, where their cocoons are used to make pocket purses. You can check out a picture of the male Atlas Moth here, and read some more about them here and here.
What is the strangest bug you’ve seen?