A giant moth was found at an Australian school on Monday. It was so big and so heavy that it struggled to fly. Some builders found the giant wood moth while constructing new classrooms at Queensland’s Mount Cotton state school, reports The Guardian. The moth was reported as being about as big as a rat.
Meagan Steward, the school’s principal, called it an “amazing find”.
“Our new building is situated on the edge of a rainforest and during the build, the moth was found,” Ms Steward told ABC Radio Brisbane. She said that the staff and students were used to seeing a range of animals at the school, but the moth was unlike anything they had seen before.
When the school shared photos of the giant wood moth on Facebook, where they made a huge interest and registered hundreds of ‘likes’, comments and shares.
As per Dr Christine Lambkin, Queensland Museum’s head of entomology, giant wood moths are the heaviest in the world. The giant wood moth, also known as the Endoxyla cinereus, is found along the Queensland and New South Wales coast.
“They fly very, very poorly. In most cases when they emerge, the females, they just crawl up a local tree or stump of a fence post and sit there and wait for males to find them,” Dr Lambkin said.
The female moths, about twice the size of the males, can weigh up to 30 grams and boasts a wingspan of up to 25 centimetres.
According to the Australian Museum, giant wood moths are rarely found by humans and they live only a few days as adults.
Before returning it to the forest the builders at Mount Cotton school took photos of the moth. It’s for sure that the insect did serve as inspiration for the school’s creative writing class, and inspired at least one cheeky story about a teacher getting eaten by a giant wood moth.