The Butterfly: “Photos of three angry snakes in a tree confused Internet users as the creatures turned out to be nothing more than gentle, albeit gigantic, insects.”
Some amazing moths called “Atlas moths” are hiding in this tree. These moths are native to the Malaysian rainforest and cleverly disguise themselves as snakes. The Atlas moth is one of the largest butterflies, with a wingspan measuring up to 24 cm (9.4 in) and a wing surface area of about 160 cm2 (~25 in2). It is only surpassed in wingspan by the white witch (Thysania agrippina) and Attacus caesar, and in wing surface area by the Hercules moth.
Both forewings of the Atlas moth have a noticeable extension at the tip, with markings that look like the head of a snake. This resemblance is emphasized by the wing movements when the moth faces potential predators.
These bugs have an interesting trait: they consume their food and nutrients completely during the larval stage. After they come out of their cocoon, Atlas moths have a sealed mouth, so they won’t eat like butterflies do for the rest of their lives. Instead, they rely on stored fat for energy. Due to this, they only live for about two weeks.
Every flight takes valuable energy and can take days off their already short lives, so they conserve energy by flying as little as possible. A female will wait for a male to come along and be fertilized, lay eggs, and die.
“With this mechanism, this butterfly has given up its long life for the sake of producing the largest offspring.”