Monday, 13 July 2015

Attacus atlas (The Atlas Moth)

Family: Saturniidae
Sub-Family: Saturniinae
Species: Attacus atlas Linnaeus, 1758
Common name(s): The Atlas Moth
Photography location: Hanoi

This species is interesting for two reasons: first, it is listed (as Rare) in Vietnam's Red Data Book of threatened species (Vietnamese: Sách đỏ Việt Nam). Secondly, it is a magnificent creature with a wingspan of around 25-30 cm! It is the world's biggest moth, not by wingspan but by wing surface area. This mating pair was an amazing sight.


The caterpillars feed on the leaves of a wide range of trees, from the carambola to cinnamon, lime, pomelo, rambutan, guava, citrus fruits.



The wing tips are hooked and some say resemble a snake's head complete with eye, to scare off predators!
Its name in Vietnamese is Bướm khế (= carambola tree butterfly).

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