Atlas Moths? Legal or not?

Mothman617 Mothman617 at
Mon Jun 19 20:32:04 EDT 2000

Hi Chris. I reside in New England myself. Last year I reared A. atlas over
the summer from cocoons I obtained from Thailand. Larvae will feed upon Tree
of Heaven (Ailanthus altissma), Lilac and Privet. I have also been told
larvae will feed upon Ash. These are illegal even though the moth is
tropical and has no chance of being established here. It is suprisingly easy
to obtain exotic livestock through the mail via internet. Much of this
material is overlooked by customs and postal inspectors. Your average postal
worker has no idea what "pupae of Gonimbrasia tyrrhea" is. Customs officials
are much too busy searching for illegal drugs, bombs, expolosives, child
porn and firearms coming in from oversees, thus pay no attention to a few
cocoons. There are several butterfly & moth breeders in Europe whom would
gladly send any material on hand. In many countries such as Britain it is
legal to trade in livestock from exotic locales. Just be responsible and
make sure no exotic lepidoptera or any other insect is released into your
backyard. I could only imagine if one of my neighbors found an escaped Atlas
moth clinging to their screen front door under the spotlight. It would
likely make headlines in the local paper!
"NewtChris" <newtchris at> wrote in message
news:20000618213340.15855.00002488 at
> I am new to this news group and have not raised moths for many years.  Two
> years ago I rekindled the hobby after finding a gravid female cecropia
moth in
> my yard and raising the resulting eggs into nearly two hundred adults the
> following spring.
> I recently visited a butterfly atrium in my area and inquired about
methods of
> breeding Atlas moths in New England.  I was told that it was illegal to do
> As a child however I did obtain Atlas eggs from a breeder in Wyoming and
> great success in raising them.  I of course had no idea as to how to over
> winter them in this area and the adult moths emerged in November, making
> specimens, but for obvious reasons they could not be bred.
> I'm interested in breeding them again.  If anyone has any information
about the
> current laws pertaining to this subject or cares to correspond about the
> details of rearing these spectacular moths,
> please email me.
> thanks
> Chris
> Newtchris at

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