May 18

This giant moth is so heavy that it can’t fly on its own, the female just waits for the male to find her


Females of this species can be as large as two fists combined.

A giant moth – so big and heavy it can’t fly on its own – was found at an Australian school recently. Builders found the giant moth while building new classrooms at Queensland’s Mount Cotton School. The moth is described as the size of a mouse.

The school’s principal, Meagan Stewart, called it an “incredible find”.

“Our new building is on the edge of a rainforest and during the construction, a moth was found,” Ms Stewart said. She said that although staff and students were used to seeing many animals at school, the moths were unlike anything they had ever seen before.

The school shared photos of the giant wooden butterfly on Facebook, and they quickly generated a huge amount of interest with lots of Likes, comments and shares.

This giant wood moth, also known as Endoxyla cinereus, is found along the coasts of Queensland and New South Wales. According to Dr Christine Lambkin, head of the entomology department of the Queensland Museum, this is the heaviest giant wood moth in the world.

“They fly very, very poorly,” said Dr. Lambkin. “In most cases when they appear, the female just crawls up a tree or fence, and stays there waiting for the male to find them.”

In this species, the focus is on the female, when they are twice the size of the male, can weigh up to 30 grams and have a wingspan of up to 25 cm. However, this giant butterfly is rarely discovered by humans because the larvae can grow in the trunk for several years, but the adults can only live for a few days before dying.

The builders took pictures of the moth before returning it to the forest.


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