Gloucestershire

Nine huge Atlas moths hatch in Gloucestershire

An Atlas moth
Image caption Atlas moths are thought to be named after the map-like patterns on their wings

Nine moths belonging to the largest breed in the world have hatched in Gloucestershire.

The Atlas moths, which have a wing-span of between 10in to 12in (25cm to 30cm), came out of their chrysalises at Berkeley Castle Butterfly House.

None of the moths at the house hatched last year.

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

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

They are said to be named after their map-like wing patterns and the extension of the forewing, bears a resemblance to a snake's head.

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

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