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Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Largest Moth In The World - (Find Out Why They Do Not Eat During Their Adult Form)

The Atlas moths (Attacus alas) of the subtropical forests of Southeast Asia are the largest moths in the world. The females have bigger and heavier bodies than males and larger wingspans too, ranging from a staggering 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 inches) across. (However, there are some species of moth with longer wings, but the Atlas moth has, on average, the largest wingspan in terms of area). These extremely beautiful moths are so big, that they are often mistaken for a small bird when they are flying!

Despite their huge size, Atlas moths do not eat anything once they hatch from their cocoons. Neither sex possesses fully-formed mouth parts and cannot eat; they rely on the sustenance they build up as caterpillars, for stored energy. Atlas moths only live in their adult form for two to three weeks. These unique moths have extremely intricate colorings and patterns on their back, the tips of the top wings resemble the head of a snake and will frighten away most attackers.

The Atlas moths are quite rare and the reason for this is because they were once caught by the thousand, only to become specimens in the collections of Lepidoperists (collectors of moths and butterflies).

Did you know?
  • Atlas moths and other giant silkworm moths have the hairiest bodies and legs of any type of moth.
  • Atlas moths are cultivated for their silk in a non-commercial capacity. This wool-like silk is known as "fagara"

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