A chance to see the largest species of moth in the world

The first Atlas moth to hatch at Natureland Seal Sanctuary. Pictured today (Wednesday) by Matt Yeaden, butterfly keeper.
The first Atlas moth to hatch at Natureland Seal Sanctuary. Pictured today (Wednesday) by Matt Yeaden, butterfly keeper.

Staff at a Skegness attraction were pleasantly surprised when they found one of their Atlas moths had emerged yesterday (Tuesday).

The Atlas moth is the largest moth in the world, with the biggest recorded wing span measuring 25cm.

Another Atlas moth which hatched today (Wednesday) pictured by Matt Yeadon, butterfly keeper. EMN-170517-121941001

Another Atlas moth which hatched today (Wednesday) pictured by Matt Yeadon, butterfly keeper. EMN-170517-121941001

Natureland Seal Sanctuary, in North Parade, has now got three of the variety, but they will only be there for about a week due to the length of its lifespan.

Matt Yeaden, butterfly keeper at Natureland Seal Sanctuary, said: “There are 10 or so cocoons in the tropical house.”

On the moth which emerged yesterday, Matt said: “This one appeared out of nowhere.”

Today (Wednesday), Matt found that two more Atlas moths had emerged in the tropical house.

A close up of a moth pupae, taken today (Wednesday) by Matt Yeadon, butterfly keeper. EMN-170517-122747001

A close up of a moth pupae, taken today (Wednesday) by Matt Yeadon, butterfly keeper. EMN-170517-122747001

Atlas moth’s have a short life-span, as they only live for a few days.

Matt explains: “They only last a few days as they don’t have mouths. They are made to reproduce.”

Once they have emerged, the moth’s survive on food consumed during the caterpillar stage of development until they die.

The atlas moth develops in a fabric-like cocoon for three to four weeks before hatching.

The sanctuary has had about 50 moths and butterflies delivered over the past six to seven weeks ready for the warmer summer months.

They will have between 20 and 30 different species of butterfly, with the Atlas moth being the only species of moth delivered.

Matt said: “In the height of the summer we have about 100 butterflies.”