World’s largest moth

Who knew moths this big even existed?

The Atlas moth (Attacus Atlas) is is a large moth found in the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia, southern China, common across the Malay archipelago, Thailand to Indonesia.

These moths are considered the largest in the world in terms of total wing surface area (65 square inches). In Hong Kong the Cantonese name translates as “snake’s head moth“, referring to apical extension of the forewing, which bears a passing resemblance to a snake’s head.

Another interesting characteristic of the Atlas moth is that it doesn’t have fully developed mouth-parts, so it can’t feed…ever. It survives on the larval fat reserves, throughout their entire 1-2 weeks adult lives.











Source 1, 2

Posted in Animals, Pics        

Feedback (21 Comments)

  • jesse Posted on March 30, 2008

    beautiful! why do such pleasures have such tragic niches?

  • James Posted on March 30, 2008

    wow! that is so cool!

  • Kimberly Edwards Posted on March 30, 2008

    How beautiful! Absolutely amazing moth!!!

    Kimberly 🙂

  • Peter Posted on March 30, 2008


  • shane Posted on March 30, 2008

    top wing tips look like snake heads

  • Brent Duvack Posted on March 30, 2008

    Peter, look it up on Wikipedia you f*cking cumbubble.

  • Richard Farmer Posted on March 30, 2008

    Peter is right, every single photo has been photoshopped just check the file attributes.

  • jen Posted on March 30, 2008

    dear author, 9 months ago i had the rare opportunity to come across a similar moth, i dont remember the name.

    wings of pasely color, body the size of my thumb, body was orange with white stripes.

    this was at my company, we were all stunned.

    i did a search at the time to identify, yes no mouth, lives about 3 weeks, likes light, mine was about 3″ x 5″ it was as beautiful as it was scary. highly sensitive to pheromones, several miles, born late may dies in june if i recall right, all are born on 1 specific day. truly amazing I will not forget

    these do exist in usa, i am testament to this, thanks

  • Jim Posted on March 30, 2008

    6 months ago I was at a butterfly museum with live butterflies and moths, and if anything the pictures here don’t do the Atlas moth justice. Incredible insect.

  • Matthew Posted on March 31, 2008

    of course it is photoshopped, these pictures are probably taken from a magazine or something, where they do in fact edit their pictures to get them ligther / darker, to make them fit in with the rest of the page etc.

  • rosa Posted on March 31, 2008

    i am frm SE Asia and while i have yet to come across this moth there is one that frequented my school .I believe the breeding or watever month is right abt now.It is dark brown in colour.and is pretty big If anyone knows what it is please reply thanks.

  • Lisa Posted on April 3, 2008

    Oh my god!!! That is soooo creepy! I hate moths but one like this would send me to the cardiac unit!!!

  • Born Again Bird Watcher Posted on April 11, 2008

    One of my all-time favorite moths. Stunningly beautiful.

  • brandon Posted on September 29, 2008

    That is absuletly amazing I uset to have one just like that

  • Pete Posted on October 22, 2008

    Peter – what is it exactly about the pictures you think has been Photoshopped. If you’re thinking the size, you’re wrong.
    As above, try Wikipedia or even the Guinness Book of World Records…….BEFORE you make such comments.

  • Savio Posted on May 4, 2009

    Hey!!!! i am from Goa , India , i had this same moth visit my place a couple of months back, and it was amazing , never seen anthing like this before in my life, n best , it dissapeared next morning though it was in a locked room…..

  • Horatio Hornblatt Posted on July 4, 2009

    Quick hit it with a stick!

  • billgreen Posted on July 11, 2009

    On a recent trip to Africa I came upon a very large white moth. It was about the size of my both hands together or would just fit on a regular piece of full scrap 8 x11 inches. it had virtually no other markings and the wings seemed to be very flimsy would you have any idea what the variety of moth could be??

  • Dinesan T Posted on September 19, 2009

    I am from Kannur, Kerala, India and have seen a similar Moth. I have taken the photo. I have never seen such a moth before. It was really large in size.

  • John OBrien Posted on November 3, 2010

    I have a stuffed Attacus atlas in a round perspect picture, it is about 7″x7″ wingspan I came across it in a car boot sale if anybody is interested in it please email me.

  • shannon Posted on February 23, 2012

    This is such a beautiful moth but why does it only live for 2 weeks ?