Heart of England News

Safe Return for Atlas Moth

Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm is delighted to announce the safe return of its Atlas Moth which is now back on display in the Discovery Zone. The Farm would like to thank everyone who has been working behind the scenes to arrange the safe return of the moth, in particular to Warwickshire police and P.C Garlic and her colleague.

Atlas Moths, Attacus atlas, are a type of silk moth and are one of the largest insects in the world with a wingspan of up to 30cm. They emerge from a silken cocoon and then have 7-10 days to find a mate and lay up to 300 eggs for the next generation. The caterpillars feed on a range of food plants and at the Butterfly Farm, they are fed on privet. As an adult moth it cannot feed as they have no mouth parts or stomachs and will exist on the fat laid down as a caterpillar.
Atlas Moths come from the rainforests of the Far East. The Stratford Butterfly Farm source theirs Moths from Thailand and the Philippines. They are not rare in their home countries and are bred for the Butterfly Farm by either conservation projects or community initiatives. These projects provide a sustainable income to the tropical farmers as they can earn a living from the extra caterpillars that a butterfly or moth produces which in turn protects the local rainforest. This natural excess of caterpillars are protected from predators and parasites that would otherwise keep the population down. These are then used to supply butterfly exhibits around the world.
The Stratford Butterfly Farm has created a mini rainforest environment with all the right conditions for tropical moths and butterflies to breed and thrive in. It is an immersive display where visitors walk through the rainforest surrounded by up to 3,000 free flying butterflies and moths with no barriers, giving them unimpeded access to any photographs they may take and if a butterfly chooses to, it may land on a visitor causing much delight!
To see hundreds of spectacular butterflies, insects, reptiles and spiders visit the Butterfly Farm from 10am to 5.30pm. Open every day of the week except Christmas Day. For more information including admission prices and group rates, please visit the website at www.butterflyfarm.co.uk or telephone on 01789 299288.