Massive moths hatch at UK butterfly sanctuary

August 31, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

Staff at a butterfly sanctuary were celebrating after nine of the world’s largest moths hatched.

The giant Atlas moths – which boast an impressive 10in to 12in (25cm to 30cm) wingspan – hatched from their chrysalises at Berkeley Castle Butterfly House in Gloucestershire.

Atlas moths are named after the intricate, colourful map-like patterns on their wings

It is the first time the moths have successfully bred and hatched offspring in two years.

The moths, which do not have fully-formed mouths and survive off fat they built up as caterpillars, only live for a maximum of two weeks.

They are unsteady fliers and the do not stray far. Their sole purpose of life as a moth is to breed.

Atlas moths are found in the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia and are common across the Malay archipelago.

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