Huge: Photographer Sandesh Kadur was heading straight for the Atlas Moth shown here having a drink by the side of the road
We”re going to need a bigger net: Photographer meets FOOT-WIDE moth in the Himalayas
Imagine if this scary customer turned up in your wardrobe.
Meet the world”s largest moth, known as Attacus or Atlas, as it serenely sits on a road in north-east India.
With its astonishing 25cm or one foot wingspan, Sandesh Kadur was heading straight for this giant insect as he drove round the bend in the heart of the eastern Himalayas.
Mr Kadur, who described the moth as “ginormous”, admitted it looked like it was about to attack him as it opened its wings and took a defensive position.
Putting aside his fear he ushered it to the side of the road and then began to photograph it.
But anyone who comes across one in Asia should not be scared as it is completely harmless, despite its gigantic size.
Atlas moths are named after the intricate, colourful map-like patterns on their wings.
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 they 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 South-East Asia and are common across the Malay archipelago.
Close up: Sir David Attenborough is pictured here with the moth, which at full stretch has a 25cm wingspan
In order to get to a foot across, as a caterpillar it eats constantly for up to six weeks.
Experts say the intimidating patterns on its wings are there to scare off predators and it uses similar colours to venomous wildlife like wasps and frogs.
Its appearance is so striking that it is called the “snake”s head moth” in China, because the tips of its huge wings look like the reptile.