The camera never lies… Or does it !?!?…

The World Atlas

So today was a visit to the zoo… London Zoo to be specific, and if I’m brutally honest I wasn’t too impressed. Although naturally they claim to do their bit, I really don’t think that, in todays more modern approach to zoo-keeping, that the space and environment these “wild” animals require to live a relatively content life is really sufficient at London Zoo… Just my opinion, but it kinda saddens me to see them confined in such a way…

On a lighter note though, I was impressed by one particular resident of the butterfly house… Initially I dismissed them (about 6 of them) as models, as they were HUUUUUGE….. and when I say huge I mean “HUGE”… The wingspan must have been 8 – 10 inches…. I was studying them all hanging there on these cocoons, when one of them moved !!!…. That was when I had to step back a few feet, not cos I was scared… lol.. but to take a shot, just so I could actually fit one in the viewfinder…


So they’re Atlas Moths, and regarded as the worlds largest moths….

Here’s the science (wikipedia) bit…. ;)

The Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) is a large saturniid moth found in the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia, southern China, common across the Malay archipelago, Thailand to Indonesia.[1] In India, Atlas moths are cultivated for their silk in a non-commercial capacity; unlike that produced by the related Silkworm moth (Bombyx mori), Atlas moth silk is secreted as broken strands. This brown, wool-like silk is thought to have greater durability and is known as fagara.[2] Atlas moth cocoons have been employed as purses in Taiwan.

Atlas moths are considered to be the largest moths in the world[3] in terms of total wing surface area (upwards of c. 400 square cm or 65 square inches). Their wingspans are also amongst the largest, from 25-30 cm (10-12 inches). Females are appreciably larger and heavier.


4 responses

  1. Bertie

    Oh no, I’m sure you weren’t scared! Maybe a little? ;) hehe…I’d have yelped I think when I saw it move. This is a crazy looking moth and amazing shot Funky! WOW. I can totally relate to your feelings about the zoo. It was a reason why I quit working at a zoo myself…although I hear my zoo is more modern now.

    I think this moth would totally freak me out.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:54 am

    • Just imagine it landing on your head when you weren’t expecting it… It was that big I’d not be surprised if they don’t swoop in and carry off unsuspecting family pets for dinner… lol… Do you get carnivorous moths… ;)

      October 28, 2009 at 8:28 am

  2. Lyanne

    Wow, that’s one big lepidoptera! Love that you were scared! I know so many (girls) people who are terrified of moths and I can’t understand why. I love their antenae much cuter that their fancy flighty cousins. And I totally agree re the zoo which is a shame as it should be a fine example in the heart of britain’s capital.

    October 28, 2009 at 8:29 am

    • I WASN’T scared… Honest… LOL… And lepidoptera !!… Ooooh… Just had to look that up.. lol… ;)

      I too actually love butterfly’s and moths and the like, and could happily spend an hour or so in there (well maybe a bigger one) just watching them flutter about… Would have got some more cool shots, but it was so busy and steamy in there that it was impossible…

      October 28, 2009 at 8:36 am

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