Attacus atlas, Serpent Head Moth

Item #:
Perak, Malaysia
Serpent Head Moth
Size mm:

Attacus atlas really lives up to its ‘giant’ name with wing spans over 6 inches and more!   It is considered to be the largest moth in the world and even caterpillars can grow nearly five inches in length!   The Cantonese people call Attacus atlas the “snakes head moth” and the name is quite fitting because when those huge wings oscillate they appear to be a “snake’s head” which serves as a great defense against its many predators!  Even though they are brightly colored and large, they are still difficult to find in the wild.   There are found in several countries in both primary and disturbed tropical rainforest habitats, including Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, China, and Java.   From country to country Attacus atlas will vary a little in shape, coloring, pattern, and size but will always have the famous ‘snake’s head’ wing pattern.  Females are larger than males with a more rounded wing shape.  A few other interesting facts;   Attacus atlas is also a member of the Silk Moth Family.   Their life span rarely exceeds two weeks after hatching since they do not have a mouth.  In Taiwan, their large cocoons are actually fashioned into purses.   There is a record holding female with a wingspan of nearly 12 inches!  And did you now.... those conspicuous feathery antennae of the male moths enable him to scent the females many miles away! 


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