The Atlas Moth, Attacus Atlas is the largest moth in the World in terms of wing surface area and with a wingspan of up to 30cms, the Atlas Moth is one of the largest moths in overall terms. The female Atlas Moth is larger than the male and also heavier. The lifespan of an Atlas Moth is only about 2 weeks and throughout the whole of this period they do not eat anything, and indeed, the Atlas Moth does not even have a mouth, so has to depend on its reserves of fat stored up when it was a caterpillar.
Atlas Moths can be found over most of South East Asia, including Thailand, usually in tropical or sub tropical forests. Our specimen was found in our garden in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. It is believed that Atlas Moths got their name from the giant Titan who supported the Heavens in Greek Mythology although some others think that it is so named because its wing patterns resemble a map.
The Atlas Moth lays its eggs on the underside of leaves which hatch into dusty bluish green caterpillars which are covered in lumpy spines. The cocoons of Attacus Atlas are used in India to make silk but unlike the Silkworm Moth which forms the cocoon with a single length of silk, the Atalas Moth’s cocoon is built up with many broken strands.
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