A craftsman showed his big discovery while working on a school construction site in Queensland.
The giant moth was found working on a new building that has an administrative area and five classrooms at Mount Cotton State School in Redland.
The elementary school, with just over 600 students, posted photos of the creepy-looking creature on social media.
Director Meagan Steward said it was an « amazing find » by the workers, but the staff and students were not surprised because the building was on the edge of a rainforest and they had seen a number of creatures on the site.
Speaking on ABC radio, she said it was the size of two fists together and had been put back in the rainforest.
« We weren’t at school when the builders found the moth, but they took some pictures for us, » said Ms. Steward.
« We have a 4-5 (year) composite class living in this new building, and the teacher showed the students a picture of the giant moth and they used it as inspiration for a creative piece of writing.
« You have written some very creative and imaginative writings, including Ms. Wilson (your teacher), Moth-Eaten. »
Queensland Museum Entomology Director Dr. Christine Lambkin, identified the creature as a giant wooden moth and said it was the heaviest in the world.
It is common between North Queensland and South NSW and is gray in color with a dark circular pattern on the rib cage.
Dr. Lambkin said that wooden moths weighed up to 30 g and the female wingspan reached up to 25 cm, while the males were much smaller.
« In most cases, when the females show up, they just crawl up a tree or stump of a fence post and wait for the males to find them. »
The entomologist said their caterpillars are witch maggots, which are known to be consumed by traditional Aboriginal people.
« This particular species is very interesting because we don’t know what actually happens in the first year or so, » said Dr. Lambkin.
« The first thing we know is that it is a 4 cm long maggot that appears on tree trunks, is striped in black and white and burrows into eucalyptus trees and then eats for about a year. »
She said the insects are not common, but not uncommon, especially at the end of summer.
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