Biggest Moth In The World: Atlas Moth Insects Facts For Kids!

Joan Agie
Oct 24, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Nov 12, 2021
Biggest Moth In The World: Atlas Moth Insects Facts For Kids!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.4 Min

Did you know about the world's biggest moth species?

Moths generally consist of a type of insect related to butterflies. Moths have about 150,000 more species, which still need to be described.

Although insects and butterflies are quite similar, there are some distinctions between the two. The antennas are the defining characteristic. A moth's antenna is feathery, but a butterfly's antenna is slender and has a tiny ball at the end. Moths come in a variety of sizes and forms, with some having a huge surface area of more than 60 sq. in (0.03 sq.m). A moth's size is determined by its wingspan. The wing surface area, commonly known as the wings platform area, can also be used to calculate it. The Atlas moth, along with the Hercules moth, and white witch moth are often regarded as the biggest moths on Earth. One interesting fact about moths is that males can detect a female moth's natural chemicals, which are known as pheromones ejected through their body, from miles away, for breeding. This is a sign from the female to show that she is waiting for the male to come along. Moths have soft and sensitive bodies, which is why you should not touch them.

If you enjoyed this article, you can also check out 17 incredible brimstone moth facts and the biggest jellyfish in the world.

Which is the bigger Hercules moth or the Atlas moth?

The Atlas moth, along with the Hercules moth, and white witch moth are often regarded as the world's largest moths. A Hercules moth's habitat can be found in northern Australia and New Guinea. It is the largest foreign species of moth in Australia in terms of wingspan, and it is most often seen in tropical Queensland. The mature moth lives only a few days and does not eat. However, while in captivity, the larva generally eats black cherry, celery wood, and other plants. Hercules moths have the largest wing surface area of any moth species. The female may spread her wings up to 11 in (25.4 cm). Males have lengthy tails formed by stretching the back corners of their hindwings. Hercules moth caterpillars are usually pale blue and can grow to be 5 in (12.7 cm) long. To deceive any prospective predators, this magnificent caterpillar possesses fake eyes at the back end of its body.

Atlas moths are the largest moths (a Lepidoptera family with over 2,300 species) that are native to Asian woodlands. They are located in the Malay Archipelago and, due to their magnitude, attract a lot of interest from travelers. Atlas cocoons are sometimes used as handbags in Taiwan. It is unclear where the name Atlas originates from, although it might be due to its huge size, which is mentioned in Greek mythology, or because of its wing patterns. Atlas moths have the world's biggest wingspan and surface area, making them the largest moth species. The female is heavier than the male, with a wingspan ranging from 10-12 in (25.4-30.48 cm) and a surface area of roughly 62 sq. in (0.03 sq.m). Its surface area and wingspan are only matched by the Hercules and white witch moths. The top wing surface area is reddish-brown with white, black, pink, and purple patterns, while the undersides are yellow.

What moth has no mouth?

A moth's life has been split into four different phases. There is the egg stage, caterpillar stage, cocooned pupal larval stage, and finally the winged adult larval stage. That long trip comes to an end quickly for moths born without a mouth. These adults survive for approximately a week on average, just long enough to mate.

Scientists are baffled as to why nature created certain species of moths without a mouth. Luna moths have lovely bright green wings and lengthy tails. As the largest moth in North America, they have a 5 in (12.7 cm) wingspan. Luna moths, like other moths, are nocturnal and their name comes from the moon. Females lay eggs, which hatch in about seven days. Caterpillars live for three to four weeks, eating on the leaves of plants including walnut, sweetgum, and birch.

Rose maple moths are unable to feed as they lack a mouth, therefore they compensate when they are in the caterpillar stage. As caterpillars, they require nutrition not just to survive hibernation, but also to live their short adult lives. Caterpillars of rose maple moths feed on oak trees and maple. Due to the foliage that they destroy, they have been known to be a disturbance. This moth's size is average in general, with a bright pink body, and a wingspan of about 1-2 in (2.54-5.08 cm) as adults. They can be found in the eastern parts of the United States of America and Canada. Females lay eggs the next day after mating in the evening. They are considered to be one of the cutest moths in the world.

Nature did not provide Polyphemus moths with a mouth, but it did provide them with large eyespots on their hind wings to discourage predators. Their name is derived from a Greek mythological cyclops. They are big moths with a wingspan of up to 6 in (15.24 cm). They're usually found in woods, although they've also been spotted in wetlands. These silk moths have one of the most widespread ranges of any silk moth, ranging from Canada to Mexico. They are very drawn to light, and there has been worry that artificial sources of light, such as street lights, would discourage them from mating.

Atlas moths and Prometheus moths are two more species of moths that are born without a mouth. Atlas moths are located in Southeast Asia and have one of the world's largest wingspans, reaching up to 9 in (22.86 cm). Atlas moth insect cocoons are formed of strong brown silk that has been used as a charm in Africa and fashioned into tiny handbags in Taiwan. Prometheus silk-moths may be found from the east to the plains of America. Tulip trees, sassafras, and lilacs are among their favorite foods. Adult moths are unable to feed, therefore if they are not picked up by a predator, they will die after two weeks.

Moths appear like butterflies in nature, even though they are not the same.

What is the rarest moth in the world?

I'm sure you've heard of the world's rarest butterflies, but moths may be just as gorgeous and uncommon. You won't see any of these moths scurrying around a streetlight since they are only a tiny selection of the world's rarest moths, and while they aren't the beauty, they are nonetheless worthy of our attention.

Yes, it is its true name, because it was considered to be a rare butterfly for many years until it was officially recognized. A conservation effort was also launched to conserve this unique 'butterfly', which was formerly one of the world's rarest moths. While there are numerous moths in the 'Lymantriinae' family, this is one of the rarest, and it is also translucent, which is exceedingly unusual among moths in general, let alone the species' low numbers. You don't need an explanation on how this moth acquired its name, but you might be surprised to learn that it was recently spotted in the Brecon Beacons National Park. This has been the first time it has happened recently, although, it is more prevalent elsewhere in the world. This is another moth that may be very abundant abroad, but it is estimated that there are less than 100 pairs in the UK, making it a very unusual sight. As with other moths, only coming out at night makes it difficult to count the species for conservation purposes. This species is not just one of the rarest in the world, but it is also very poisonous to other creatures. While most animals tend to leave it alone, it is our invasion of their natural habitats that is causing their population to decline year after year. The Attacus atlas is the biggest species of moth in the world, with a wingspan of 9.8–11.8 in (24.89-30 cm), yet it is also endangered due to collectors' high demand. While conservation efforts are continuing, the future of this large species does not look good, and atlas moths will most likely rely on captive breeding to increase their numbers.

What are the huge moths called?

When it comes to enormous moths, size implies complex patterns, strange pupa patterns, and the odd shriek if you or a loved one gets too close. The Atlas moths are a South-East Asian native that is far from the usual boring, dusty-looking moth. With intricately pattern wings in reddish-brown, pink, and black, this beautiful moth might easily outperform colorful butterflies.

This moth's defense tactics are rather amazing. To begin, as caterpillars, they spew foul-smelling secretions to ward off predators. Their wing tips resemble the snake's head as an adult because the ends of its wings resemble the head of a poisonous snake. Scientists believe this might be a predator-deterrent technique. The spooky and gorgeous white witch moth has the longest wingspan, which may reach 11.42 in (29 cm). This insect is also known as the birdwing moth, great owlet moth, ghost moth, and great grey witch moth. Its distinctive zigzag design allows it to blend with tropical plants and go unnoticed by predators. The  was discovered in tropical north Queensland. The moth has a massive wingspan of 10.63 in (27 cm). The world's largest Hercules moth was discovered near Innisfail, which is around 110 km at Kuranda, Australia. This female has a 14.17 in (36 cm) wingspan. Adult moths, astonishingly, lack functional jaws but do not eat. As a result, they only survive two to eight days, just long enough for mating and egg-laying to occur. Despite its brief lifespan, the Hercules Moth can spend up to two years in its cocoon.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for the biggest moth in the world, then why not take a look athow often do ducks lay eggs, orAkita lab mix: everything you need to know about this marvelous mix.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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