Atlas Moth is one of the greatest insects in the world. Usually, the Atlas moth can be found in the forest in Asia. This species has a wingspan measuring up to 24 cm (9.4 in) and a wing surface area of about 160 cm2.
The life cycle of Atlas Moth
An Atlas moth undergoes a complete metamorphosis like butterflies, starting as an egg, into a caterpillar, then a pupa, and lastly its adult form. The eggs hatch to be dusty-green caterpillars for approximately two weeks and eat a variety of foliage of citrus, cinnamon, guava, and evergreen trees. Then, the caterpillars, which can grow up to 11.5 cm, are ready to pupate and spin a long papery cocoon. After four weeks, the cocoon emerges to be a beautiful winged creature.
Pretty hard to survive
Atlas moth does not eat and has no mouth. The adults do not eat at all and spend their short 1 to 2 weeks of adult life relying entirely on the fat reserves during the larval stage. Their adult life is just about mating and egg-laying.
Short lifespan to find love
The body of the Atlas moth is disproportionately small compared to the wings where females are larger and heavier than males. The female ones release powerful pheromones to attract a mate. On the other hand, the male ones can detect and home in on the females’ pheromones from several kilometers away. They will follow the pheromones via their large feathery antennae. It’s not easy to travel far from their substrate as caterpillars.
Strange but cool appearance
Atlas moths have a large snake-like pattern on their wings as protective camouflage. By looking like a snake, they can protect themselves and scare off predators.