World’s largest butterfly amazes in Konya
KONYA – Doğan News AgencyThe atlas moth, known as the world’s largest butterfly, which makes its home in the Kelebekler (Butterflies) valley in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, has been amazing visitors who come to marvel at the impressive creature.
The moth, which protects itself thanks to the snake-like design on the tips of its wings, emerges from the cocoon without a mouth structure and typically dies in just one week.
The Kelebekler Valley Park, opened by Konya’s Selçuklu Municipality in July last year, is home to 14 butterfly varieties living in a 28-Celsius tropical garden, where thousands of butterflies can be seen fluttering in the air.
The garden has 20,000 plants of 98 types and is a very popular place for photography aficionados.
The lifespan of the butterflies typically ranges between two and four weeks, however there are also some which live for nearly four months.
There is also a butterfly museum in the park which shows the life stages of this animal and another museum featuring various bug types in the world. Besides the butterflies, the parrots in the tropical garden also attract visitors.
The most striking butterfly in the park is undoubtedly the atlas moth. The park’s biologist, Turgut Tuş, said the wingspan of the atlas moth could reach 26 centimeters, and continued:
“This is known as the world’s biggest butterfly. It is at the same time one of the most short-lived ones because it doesn’t have a mouth structure. This is why it cannot eat. It stores the food that it eats in the caterpillar stage. When this store is depleted, it dies. This time is six to eight days. The snake head design on the tip of its wings makes other animals think that there is a poisonous snake there and prevents them from approaching it.”