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Atlas moths emerge in Potawatomi Zoo's 'Butterflies in Living Color' exhibit

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A new insect is on display at the Potawatomi Zoo.

The Atlas moths have emerged from their cocoons and can be seen in the 'Butterflies in Living Color' exhibit.

What's so special about these moths? Well, their size for one. The zoo said their wingspan is nearly one foot wide, and because of the surface area of their wings, they are considered the largest moths in the world.

The zoo said they can be identified by their tan, brown, and maroon colors, smaller hairy bodies, and transluscent "eyes" on their wings. Check out these great photos they sent along.

They also said that the moths don't have fully formed mouth parts and cannot eat because of this. They survive their whole lives on fat reserves they build up as caterpillars.

Atlas moths are native to the subtropical forests of Southeast Asia, but you can catch them right here in South Bend. The exhibit is open through Labor Day weekend (Sept. 3) from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is just $2 and kids 2-year-old and under are admitted for free.

To learn more about the exhibit or the Potawatomi Zoo, call (574) 235-9800.

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