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  • Writer's pictureReflective Resources

The Giant Attacus Atlas Moth

Atlas moths are named after Atlas, the Titan of Greek mythology (due to their size). The Attacus atlas is found in a large part of South-East Asia, particularly Thailand. With a wingspan of up to 25 cm (exceptionally 28 cm), this moth is one of the largest known, a record shared with the Argema mittrei from Madagascar.

As with many species of moths, starting with the Attacidae and Saturniidae, the Attacus atlas does not feed as an adult. This results in a short lifespan, about a week for the females, and even less for the males, whose role is limited in relation to the time required for egg laying.

Because of the shape of the front wing tips the Atlas is sometimes nicknamed the "Cobra Butterfly". In Hong Kong, the Cantonese means "snake's head moth", referring to the prominent extension of the forewing which bears resemblance to the head of a snake.

A video (in French but great graphics) :

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