LONDON: A photographer has spotted a giant moth on a trip to document the biodiversity of the eastern Himalayas.
Early one morning Sandesh Kadur was driving through Arunachal Pradesh in the far north-east of India, when he rounded a bend in the road and saw "a ginormous moth" sitting by a pothole.
He got out to take photos, and as he did so the moth went into a defensive posture, spreading its wings and leaning forward to make itself look as big as possible. It remained still for several minutes, so one of Kadur's colleagues was able to step behind it; the moth's wingspan was wider than his face.
As well as the moth's intimidating size, the striking patterns on its wings may also ward off predators.
Venomous animals like wasps and poison frogs use similar colours to deter animals. In fact, in China the atlas moth is known as the snake's head moth, because the patterns on the tips of its wings look slightly like the heads of snakes.
Kadur eventually decided that the moth wasn't safe sitting in the road, so he manoeuvred it to the side. Some people are scared of moths but these monsters only live for a couple of weeks as adults and don't eat at all.
All their feeding is done during a voracious larval stage when they go from egg to pupa in just four to six weeks - these are very hungry caterpillars indeed.