Just across I-30, Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park has seven atlas moths on display in the butterfly house right now, and they only live about a week, if you want to see them.
The first three moths emerged Saturday, Aug. 24, and four more emerged yesterday, Aug. 27.
“This is extremely rare,” says spokesperson Sarah Gardner. “We have received less than a dozen atlas moths from our supplier in Malaysia over the past year. Atlas moths live a week or less once they reach their adult stage since they lack mouthparts to feed. Once they emerge, they mate and females lay their eggs, living off of fat reserves from their larval, or caterpillar stage.”
Since they do not need to feed, Texas Discovery Gardens staff members gently remove the moths at 5 p.m. each day and place them inside an enclosed area in the Insect Lab, Gardner says. Staff then place the moths back on display inside the butterfly house the following morning.
“These moths are nocturnal and rarely move during the day, which makes for great photo opportunities,” said John Watts, Texas Discovery Gardens Entomologist. “We remove the moths daily so they won’t fly off and hide during the day in the leaf litter, where they are supremely camouflaged.”
If you would like to see the moths in person, visit the Gardens by the end of the week, if not sooner. The Texas Discovery Gardens are at 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
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