Giant moth rarely seen by humans spotted at school in Australia

Giant moth rarely seen by humans spotted at school in Australia
Photo credit: Facebook: Mount Cotton State School

A giant moth, the heaviest species of its kind, has been found at a primary school in Australia. 

Builders at the school near Brisbane discovered the giant wood moth while building new classrooms, ABC Rado Brisbane reported. 

Female giant wood moths can have a wingspan of up to 25cm and weigh up to 30 grams. 

Mount Cotton State School principal, Meagan Steward told the radio station it was an "amazing find." 

"Our staff and students weren't surprised by the find because we have a range of animals at Mount Cotton, but certainly this moth was not something we had seen before."

Steward said a photo of the moth taken by the builders had inspired the students' creative writing. 

"The students wrote some very creative, imaginative pieces of writing - including (year ⅘ teacher) Mrs Wilson getting eaten by the giant moth." 

The type of moth is scientifically known as Enoxyla cinereus, belongs to the Cossidae family and is very rarely spotted. 

Queensland Museum head of entomology Dr Christine Lambkin said the type of moth fly 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."

"The males are much smaller - about half the size. Essentially what happens is the females are non-feeding, they only live for a few days as adults, they emerge, they mate, they lay eggs, they die." 

Lambkin added that the giant wood moth larvae were the "true witchetty grubs" of the traditional Aboriginal diet.