Not all insects fit in the palm of your hand. At a school in Queensland, Australia, a giant 25-centimeter moth was found by workers carrying out construction work at the institution, located next to a tropical forest. “It’s a surprising find,” said the school’s principal, Meagan Steward.
The images of the huge animal became more than a curiosity. After the discovery, experts from the Queensland Museum put on the gloves and analyzed the bug. Chris Lambkin, Curator of Entomology, explained that giant moths, known to the scientific world as Endoxyla cineraThey can be found in the area where the school is up to New South Wales, although they are rarely seen by humans – despite their size. The reason is that their life cycle is very short: “They emerge, mate, lay eggs and die,” Christine Lambkin, head of the museum’s entomology area, told the media.
The normal thing is to find these insects when they measure just 2.5 centimeters and are as skinny as a pencil, hence the female and giant moth that was found has been a success. Experts have explained that adult moths, which can carry up to 20,000 eggs in their belly, do not have functional organs to feed on and obtain their energy from the fat reserves they accumulated during the larval stage. According to the Queensland Museum, there are at least 60 species of wood moths in Australia, the same species they found.
Experts consulted by The New York Times They say that, as amazing as it is to see a giant insect, the wood moth is not the largest. According to Floyd W. Shockley, entomologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, consulted by the American newspaper, the white witch moth, which is found in South America, reaches up to 30 centimeters.
The Australian moth has not only been talked about by experts, it has also been an inspiration to the children of the school where they found it. After showing them a photo, they were asked to write about what a moth invasion would look like. “The students wrote some very creative and imaginative texts, like the one about Mrs. Wilson being eaten by the giant wood moth,” said Steward, the school principal.
The female moth found at the school was returned to the forest after the mandatory photoshoot. Luckily, for her, no one wanted to try it, despite the fact that experts like the entomologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington say that they can be eaten raw or cooked. “It has been said that its flavor is similar to that of almonds,” he assured the Times.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.