<< Previous Next >>

The little, big one...

The little, big one...
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-09-26
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Digital ISO 200, Kenko Extension tube (20mm)
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Beautiful Moths, Bellas Polillas, Belles Mites... [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-01-14 3:08
Viewed: 8808
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Atlas Moth
Attacus atlas

The Atlas Moth has the largest wing surface area of all moths. The Giant Silkworm Moth has a wing surface area that rivals the Atlas Moth's. The Hercules Moth from Australia and Papua New Guinea is also 28cm. The Owlet Moth of tropical Americas can reach 30cm.

It is so named because its wing patterns resemble maps. The Atlas Moth's wings have triangular transparent "windows" whose purpose we don't know. The wing tips are hooked and some say resemble a snake's head complete with eye, to scare off predators.

Female Atlas Moths attract males by secreting a pheromone through a gland at the end of the abdomen. The male Atlas Moths has huge long feathery antennae to track down the female by her pheromones. The females are much larger than the males and don't have feathery antennae.

Atlas Moth eggs are laid on the underside of a leaf. They hatch in 8-14 days depending on the temperature. The caterpillars are bluish green with large bumps on them, and covered with a fine white powder.

The caterpillars eat a wide variety of foodplants and may even wander from one to another. Their foodplants include the Jamaican Cherry Tree (Muntingia calabura), soursop, cinnamon, lime, pomelo, rambutan, guava, citrus fruits.

The Atlas Moth's pupae is encased in a silken cocoon. The pupal stage of the Atlas Moth lasts about 4 weeks.

Adult Atlas Moths don't eat at all throughout their adult life which lasts for about two weeks. An adult Atlast Moth doesn't even have a mouth and lives off fat reserves built up when it was a caterpillar. The adults quickly mate, lay eggs, and die shortly thereafter.

Atlas Moths are found only in Southeast Asia. They are common in Singapore, especially in November-January, although they are found throughout the year.

While the Silkworm Moth (Bombyx mori, which belongs to a different but related family) which makes its cocoon out of one unbroken silk strand, the Atlas Moth caterpillar makes it out of broken strands of silk. Nevertheless, Atlas Moth cocoons are used to make a durable silk called Fagara Silk, in northern India. In Taiwan, their cocoons are made into pocket purses!

If you have a 17" monitor the wingspan of this moth is about the size of your monitor. Now look at the photo again and compare it to your monitor. :) Amazing isn't it! I saw this newly hatched (wings still not dry) moth at a Butterfly House on my vacation.

coasties, TAZ, liquidsunshine, Ninfa, peter_stoeckl, Janice, phlr, wallhalla15, hummingbird24, marhowie, Athila, dew77, red45, wishnugaruda, thistle, Nico, OdetteVN, janhendrik, magiqa, gelor, extramundi, PDP, Pentaxfriend, Alan_Kolnik has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Callie: Nee nie heeltemal nie...gerhardt 1 01-15 17:08
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Incredibile photo Gerhard! I've never saw this kind of moth and I've never heard about it!!!
For me - perfect!

This is a wonderful shot Gerhard. The wings are a lot lighter than the
adult Atlas Moth
I posted a while ago. I wonder how long it takes for the wing to develop the beautiful depth of colour. Nice close details with good light and DOF. Stands out well against the OOF BG. Thanks.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-01-14 4:10]

Woooooooow ! What a wonderful and huge (17") butterfly that you have very well captured ! Its shape and colors are great. I also appreciate the complementary note... Congratulations Gerhard and thanks for sharing this beauty.

Hi Gerhard,
Good detail, colours and sharpness.
Composition and exposure are spot on.
Good framing and notes. I saw one of these at the London Butterfly house, and wasn't sure if it was real!!! They are enormous. Unfortunately, the one in London was resting in the most awkward position to photograph, with bad light. My shots didn't come out very well, but this is fantastic, thank you Gerhard.
Thanks for posting, Have a great weekend.

  • Great 
  • Ninfa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 112 W: 3 N: 204] (747)
  • [2006-01-14 5:14]

Hola :) Gerhard: It is magnificent, I enjoy their sophisticated and elegant design, with the fantastic and exquisite red tones, the bottom is very good to allow to highlight its beauty. You managed the illumination very well. congratulations.Feliz Fin de Semana. Saludos Cordiales. *Ninfa Urania*

Excellent shot Gerhard. Awesome wingspan when you think about it.


  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-01-14 5:52]

I have seen this one and the massive caterpillar too at our Butterfly House, and how big they grow. I had heard that they don't eat at all throughout their adult life, but never realised it was only for 2 weeks. How great for you to see it as it just emerged from its cocoon. Well shown Gerhard, thank you.

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-01-14 6:21]

Very beautiful moth!
Wonderful colours it has!
Very good on details!
Good POV!

Hello Gerhard,
a very fine macro shot. Excellent details and good tones of colours. A great capture with an excellent not, very well done. Thanks for posting.

This is a great capture of this incredible moth Gerhard.

Exceptional details, colors, POV (I very much like the full screen composition), exposure and BG.

I have done a ws, I think you will like...

Thank you for sharing this with us, especially today, as tomorrow I have planned to go to a butterfly conservatory, a couple of hours from my home.

Beautiful moth and what a "big boy" it is!
Very good detail, with wonderful patterns and colors. Very well done. Thank You my friend!

Nice pattern !

Technically it sharp and well exposed. Presence of flash is very discreet. The only trace is behind the lower left wing. Thight framing and shallow DOF, help to emphaze the main subject. And finally, you may have done it on purpose or not, BG reproduce the same color you have in your butterfly, wich is very interesting and looking good.
Excellent work Gerhard and TFS.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-01-14 9:28]

Hello Gerhard!
Excellent close up.POV,colors,sharpness,clear details and framing are wonderful.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-01-14 9:53]

This one is really BIG Gerhard! Very interesting subject and perfect photo of it. I like its brown colours and strange shape of wings. Superb note also.

Hi Gerhard,
I have a dream - to see this marvelous moth with my own eyes - it must be very impressive!
Wow, it's so beautiful and you captured it with excellent sharpness and brilliant colours, thank you so much for sharing this beauty with us, bye
Sabine - wishnugaruda

I love your note with the comparison of the wings and the monitor - unbeleaveable!

Lovely shot !
Very classic I would say, but nicely done. Great exposure, very good details and colours. It's a bit noisy, but as Anna Lu showed it can be correct quite easy.
I like it!

  • Great 
  • Nico Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 199 W: 1 N: 335] (1321)
  • [2006-01-15 0:10]

Dit is 'n hoogs interessante en uitsonderlike onderwerp en foto. Mooi skoot.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-01-15 1:50]

A magnificent moth, Gerhard.
You captured it with technical perfection.
What a fantastic POV. The colors and patterns are amazing.
Thanks for sharing this beauty. : )

Hi, Gerhard.
Well made species photo - whole size with high quality. Excellent sharpness, colors and details. Darker BG, makes it work.

Jy Is skaars, werk jy jou dood?
This is one of the most beautiful moths we have in the world - really a good one here, Gerhard/ Unbelievably big. TFS
Hoegaan dit met die koletjies kat en haar babas - kan jy al kyk?

Dis 'n meesterstuk! The colours, details and sharpness are perfect. GOod note too. Well done.

These moths are just full of amazing details and colors, nice flash control and composition. :)

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-01-15 20:45]

Hi Gerhard,
Fantastic shot with amazing detail and excellent framing.

Hallo Gerhard,

Fantastiese foto! Dit is weereens 'n foto op jou gebruiklike hoŽ standaard. Dankie.


Beautifully done, Gerhard. I particularly like how the OOF orange color in the B/G highlights the orange in the moth. Wonderful detail and DOF.

Hi Gerhard, a short visit.
Never seen the beauty before.
Lovely colours and the paattern on the wongs are very nice.
Well composed, good details and POV.
Great work, my friend.

Hi, Gerhard. Absolutely a stunning image!! Excellent work.

Marvellous picture, so clear and sharp. Very good.

WOW Gerhard. Impressed with all you shots. I chose this one due to the impresing subject and great tones shown. Thanks very much my friend. As you see with little time lately. Hope to have more soon. My best regards, Felipe.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-01-26 15:45]

He Gerhard, very nice shot. Lovely details and what a fantastic looking moth. Beuatifully done. Great shot.

Hi Gerhard,

WoW what a beautiful atlas
composition, sharpness, details, POV and DOF are PERFECT

TFS Thijs

Very well done - I saw these in the "Butterflies Live Free" hothouse in the botanical gardens in Montreal, but the color you have captured here is excellent - mind you, it was snowing outside in Montreal, which mkes things a little duller ....!

Calibration Check