The biggest moth in the world,
The Atlas moth is the largest moth in the world, with a wing span stretching up to 27 centimetres across. To put that in perspective, that is larger than a human handspan.
It is native to China, Malaysia, India and Indonesia and its name is originated from the Titan God of Greek Mythology. It is also speculated that it is called an Atlas moth because it’s wings look like a paper map. When threatened, the moth will writhe around on the floor. It will slowly flap its wings to scare away predators.
In the wild, the Atlas moth feeds on cinnamon leaves, citrus fruits and guava. The caterpillar will consume enough food before going into the cocoon to sustain it.
The Atlas moth caterpillars produce silk – very similar to what silkworm produce. It is secreted as a strong, brown broken strands called fagara. Fagara is used to build the caterpillars cocoon when it is ready to pupate. In some Asian countries, the cocoon is used as purses as it is so durable!
Pictured below, the Atlas moth.