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).

1 comment:

  1. I have one on the front door of the house I am staying in Tay Ninh, I feel honoured in a way to have seen the world's biggest moth. Not so happy about it being an endangered species though.