Saturday, May 28, 2011

Atlas Moth Larvae

Hey guys!

So lately out of sure fortune perhaps, a friend of mine William stumbled upon a rather large and intimidating looking larva which he then left in my care. It didn't take me long to recognise the larva for what it was; the young of one of the largest lepidoptera species (in terms of wing area) in the world!!! The Atlas Moth, attacus atlas. 

Fatty McFat-fats!!! :P 
With Ray's index finger for size-comparison
Unfortunately for me, it doesn't seem to be doing very much these few days which gets me a little bit anxious and worried as to whether it might be sick, or even dying. That would be unfortunate really as I was greatly desiring to add the attacus atlas as a part of my collection. Another interesting fact about this magnificent moth, largest of the lepidoptereans they may be, Atlas Moths do not possess developed mouthparts as adults and consequently do not feed. Instead, their short lives of about 2 weeks or so is fueled entirely by the fat reserves they have stored in their bodies as larvae (explains the intimidating size of the caterpillar doesn't it?). To conserve energy, females rarely fly, instead they hang from tall, breezy areas to release a pheremone which can be detected by and attracts males from up to several kilometers away! Some collecters and breeders have even exploited this in order to attract more male moths to mate with their females by simply placing the females outside in a ventilated cage. But let's not count our chickens before they are hatched...first the caterpillar should simply survive!

Atlas moths @ Penang Butterfly Farm
Wow! I've never blogged so much in such a long time!!! Till the next post then... CIAOZ de MAOZ


Mmmmm~ this is the life.

1 comment:

Cyren said...

boo it died :(