Attack of the Attacus lorquinii! Trapped with hundreds of giant moths
May 13, 2020 1:28 AM   Subscribe

Bart the other Mothman is in lockdown with hundreds of giant atlas moths. Farmed moths from the Philippines, meant to be shipped to customers, they've now hatched all through his house. Come for the chaos, stay for the delightfully furry moths and conservation behind collecting and breeding winged butterflies and moths. Also disco. Bart's website breeding butterflies will help turn you into the lepidopterist you've always hoped to be. Hat-tip to vacapinta who posted an earlier moth science project by another Bart.
posted by dorothyisunderwood (20 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Giant Atlas Moths? Murder Hornets? Since this is 2020, Godzilla can't be far behind.
posted by fairmettle at 1:49 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]

That was fascinating. I like Bart's observation after explaining the hand pairing of moths "I bet you think I'm some kind of serial killer now?"
posted by rongorongo at 2:24 AM on May 13

Moths. No thanks. Like undead butterflies.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:44 AM on May 13

Why is importing these sorts of things legal? Will we ever learn?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:23 AM on May 13

Giant Atlas Moths are amazing! I would love to have a house full of them, they are my favourite part of any sort of butterfly house

Also they only live a few days as adults and sorta suck at flying. They seem a highly unlikely invasive species if shipped as cocoons.
posted by stillnocturnal at 4:32 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]

I love Bart's stuff. Inspired me to order some gear and do a moth survey of my suburban garden.
posted by atrazine at 6:28 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]

I lasted 5 seconds looking at him surrounded by the moths. Excuse me, I'm off to have an attack of the willies now.
posted by corvikate at 6:48 AM on May 13 [4 favorites]

Always did wonder how those State Fair butterfly houses got their butterflies. Fascinating stuff.

As big moths go Lunas are my favorite; the sight of one at dusk, glowing ethereally against a dark tree trunk, is breathtaking.
posted by kinnakeet at 7:42 AM on May 13

o i thought my day was bad

"I was supposed to bring the cocoons to butterfly houses (it's my job) but they are closed due to coronavirus. So now I'm sitting here while they are hatching. There are 900 more cocoons"
posted by lalochezia at 7:57 AM on May 13


Metafilter: There are 900 more cocoons
posted by lalochezia at 7:58 AM on May 13 [4 favorites]

Moth=giant flying worm.
posted by Splunge at 9:13 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]

I had never heard of Atlas Moths until I started playing Animal Crossings: New Horizons. They are one of the bugs you can catch and give to your museum or sell. They have more vibrant coloring in the game, but otherwise, I could identify them because the game designers have done an excellent job of reproducing the critters in the game accurately.
posted by agatha_magatha at 9:37 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]

The main issue with non-native moths and butterflies is the impact of their caterpillars, if there is a host plant present that they can eat, like the checkered swallowtail causing problems in citrus farms in the Dominican Republic. But generally, bringing tropical species to cold places where they probably can’t survive in the wild is relatively low risk.
posted by snofoam at 10:19 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]

I like him! I have now heard the names of 10 islands in the Philippines I had never heard of.
But I am horrified that these cool beasts are unable to eat and live only as long as their energy lasts. Dang that is some harsh nature right there.
posted by Glinn at 10:32 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]

agatha_magatha, I say without embarrassment that the various Animal Crossing games have helped me identify numerous bugs in real life!
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:00 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

The sight of the giant devil worms covering his face has awakened phobias I never knew I had.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:15 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

In my next life I will chase an appealing, soft-sorta, Lepidopteraphile...spooky nerds are the best.
posted by Oyéah at 2:58 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

I am horrified that these cool beasts are unable to eat and live only as long as their energy lasts.

So much of reproduction seems like strategies to send your reproductive stage or gametes off into a cold, dark universe* where they will live or die according to the whims of movement in matter and energy. Sort of like ST:Voyager, I guess.

*Some of which are really tiny, yes? I'm thinking of female octopuses laying their eggs in a cold, dark space under a rock. And then fanning them with oxygenated water until they hatch and level up into the next larger and more dangerous universe. And then the female dies, because that's how it goes.
posted by sneebler at 7:20 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]

The Other Mothman - I admit to approaching this item and wondering if it was about Indrid Cold's buddy, or Richard Gere.
posted by doctornemo at 8:09 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

These moths are relatives of the giant Atlas moths:

The genus contains the Atlas moth (Attacus atlas), and Attacus caesar, the second and third largest known moths (in terms of wingspan), though different sources treat one or the other as slightly larger

He had "Attacus lorquinii" --technically not Attacus atlas but pretty close.
posted by RuvaBlue at 1:42 AM on May 15

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