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Unless you find it exciting to watch insects repeatedly nosedive into hot light bulbs, then it is fair to say that moths are not the most exciting of insects. Generally, people are not at all concerned with moths since they are not aesthetically pleasing and they can be an occasional annoyance while outdoors. Of course, not all moth species are ugly. Some moth species are just as majestic looking as the most colorful butterflies. For example, the atlas moth is a well known and beautiful moth species that is so large most people initially mistake it for a bird. This moth species is not just notable for its unrivaled beauty, but also for the records it holds. The atlas moth possesses a wingspan measuring two hundred and sixty two millimeters across, this is equal to twelve full inches. No other moth species possesses a set of wings as wide as this. In addition to the widest wingspan, atlas moth wings are larger than all other moth wings in surface area. The surface area of this moth species’ wings averages at around sixty two square inches. Also, the atlas moth is unusual for not possessing a mouth. In fact, this moth does not eat at all, as fat deposits hold the adult moth over during its relatively short lifespan. There are many reasons to respect the atlas moth, but most people only know these insects for the purses that they help produce. In southeast Asia, atlas moths are raised alongside silkworms in order to harvest their silk.
The use of atlas moth silk in textiles is controversial since the silk can only be obtained from atlas moth cocoons. This means that atlas moth larva are killed in mass every day solely for profit. The silk from atlas moth cocoons is different from typical silk. The two types of silk are both similar in appearance, but they are composed of different compounds. The atlas moth silk is the more durable of the two types of silk. Before the silken cocoons are used in manufacturing, the cocoons are placed in boiling water in order to exterminate the developing larvae.
Do you think that boiling larvae alive for profit is inhumane?