Giant moth so heavy it struggles to fly found in Australia

Due to being so large, the creature struggles to support its own body weight in flight

Bethany Dawson@bethanymrd
Wednesday 05 May 2021 11:37

A moth so large that it struggles to fly has been found in Australia.

An unsuspecting tradesman was working on a building site at Mount Cotton State School in the Redlands, South Queensland, when he discovered the giant moth.

Not mirroring the initial reaction of many, the school is very excited to have been the home of this find, with their social media page saying it is an “amazing” discovery.

Principal Meagan Steward said the moth was the same size as ‘two fists put together’ and was released back into the nearby forest. It certainly isn’t to everyone’s comfort, but snaps were taken of the beast before it was released from the classroom.

Due to being so large, the creature struggles to support its own body weight in flight.

Queensland Museum entomologist Dr Christine Lambkin identified the creature as a wood moth and told ABC Radio: "They fly very, very poorly.

"In most cases when the females emerge, they just crawl up a tree or stump of a fence post and wait for the males to find them.

"This species ranges from north Queensland all the way through to southern NSW.

"The wingspan of the female is up to 25cm. It weighs up to 30 grams."

These moths aren’t very common to see in Australia, but Dr Lambkin says they aren’t rare or unusual.

Suddenly the small, common moths seen in England don’t seem too bad.

The school shared photos on their Facebook page of the giant moth, with one commenter saying “Love it! Never leaving the windows open ever again though”, and another saying that they would do a “karate freak out” if they saw it. 

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