The lesser

This is the adult lesser Atlas moth. This is the time for them and the larger Atlas moth to emerge into our humid nights in the forest.

These moths don't eat — they don't even have fully formed mouths - although they do continue to pooh . They live on the reserves they store as caterpillars.


Here a close up showing antennae.

With only enough time to mate and lay their eggs, these gentle giants preserve their energy, not moving far, and have a short lifespan of only a few weeks. The female, once emerged, tends not to move far and often sits on her cocoon, where she releases quantities of sex pheromones (called “ecto-hormones”). It is believed that this scent can be detected on the wind by males up to 3-4 km away, and many males can congregate around one female.


You can differentiate the adults of the Atlas and lesser Atlas moths by their size, paler colouration, and the rounded wingtips. Like the Atlas moth, the pupation takes place in a silken cocoon spun between leaves, although it is considerably smaller.


Here is what they look like as caterpillars, with his shed skin at the end his body, as he grows.