Tropical giant moth '˜Ali' discovered in South Tyneside
Estate agents in South Tyneside were left shocked when they discovered a unusual giant moth outside their office.
Dominic Holmes, who works for Chase Holmes Estate Agents, on Station Road, Hebburn, found an Atlas Moth when he and his colleagues went for their lunch.
The moth – which is usually found in the subtropical forests of south-east Asia – was on a wall outside of the office.
The agents immediately named it ‘Ali’, after legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, who died earlier this week at the age of 74.
Dominic said: “It was just on a wall outside of the office.
“It looked like an ornament on the wall, which was obviously a strange sight, but when we took a closer look, we realised it was a moth.
“When we went back inside and researched it, we realised how rare it was.
“It was a bit of a shock to see it.
“It’s not the every day type of wildlife you see in Hebburn.
“We named it Ali – float like a butterfly, or a moth – but we’re just going to leave it be.”
Atlas Moths have in the past been considered the largest moths in the world in terms of total wing surface area.
They are not thought to be an established species in the UK, or a migrant.
After making the discovery, Dominic called the RSPCA, who passed him onto the Butterfly Conservation Fund.
Dominic added: “They said it wouldn’t be worth transporting it to a conservation centre due to its short life span. They only live for a few days.
“The RSPCA had earlier called it a great find, and said it was fantastic.
“We’re just going to leave it be now and let it enjoy the time it has.”