A giant Atlas moth that was bigger than a human palm amazed locals in northern Thailand.
The colourful insect with a wingspan of up to 24cm was found sleeping on a cotton fruit tree in a backyard in Lan Sak district, Uthai Thani province on August 2 morning.
House owner Aranya Junjinda approached the winged creature to have a closer look and she was surprised that it calmly allowed itself to be touched.
Superstitious Aranya said similar moths had been visiting her home for three years now and believed that they keep her home safe.
She said: ‘This one had been around my house for two days now. It was calm and even stays still on my body. For three years now, similar moths had been visiting my house’s cotton fruit tree. I believe they keep us safe.
‘The village is surrounded by mountains and trees. I think the moths can be seen around the area a lot because of the rich ecosystem.’
After taking a few photos as a souvenir, Aranya returned the moth to the tree where it had laid its eggs on the leaves.
The Atlas moth, endemic to forests in Asian countries, is one of the largest moths in the world in terms of wing surface area and wingspan.