Atlas moth in Brondong

Posted by David Khoirul

attacus atlas moth in TPI BrondongMy blogger fellow Jhony Ahmad and I found this big moth after we had coffee at a kedai kopi next to Fish Auction Center (TPI) yesterday morning in Brondong, East Java.

Mostly found in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, this moth is called Attacus Atlas or Sirama-rama or kupu gajah, which translates as "elephant butterfly," after its large size. The 21-centimeter pretty moth was dying when Jhony took these photographs. The presence of Attacus Atlas, according to Javanese mythology, brings fortune or tells the coming of guests. Atlas moth's wingspans can reach over 25cm, and females are apparently larger and heavier. Jhony said the moth was female.

In Hong Kong, people call it as "snake's head moth," referring to apical extension of the forewing, which resembles the reptile. This resemblance, complete with eyes of a snake, is used to scare predators.

Unfortunately, as Jhony held the moth, it flew to the main road and was crushed by a truck.

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