Brisbane, Australia is home to many undeniably beautiful sights, from the Brisbane Botanic Gardens to the iconic Story Bridge. For some, there is also beauty in its more unusual and unique creatures as well!
One woman in Camp Mountain stumbled across an amazing example of this atypical beauty when she found a Cossidae, or miller moth, with an unusually broad wingspan.
With photos contrasting the huge insect with her hand for reference, Pam Taylor posted to the Facebook group Amateur Entomology Australia, describing it as a “giant moth” and asking for more information.
Users were quick to comment on the creature’s appearance and praise Taylor’s find:
“I found one of these beautiful moths in my front yard at Morningside years ago. They are so beautiful and so massive. What an awesome find. Thank you for sharing,” commented Jess Thomas. Enthusiast Jackie Beer added, “It belongs in the family Cossidae. They are known as Witchetty Grubs, Goat Moths, Carpenter Moths, Wood Moths, Borers.”
Other users described the moth as “a behemoth,” with user Tammy Bishop interjecting Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin’s famous catchphrase of “crikey!” Jasmyne Parker added, “Beautiful!!! I would love to see that moth! They are so cute!!!”
While giant moths aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, visually speaking, Taylor’s find is undoubtedly an excellent example of Australia’s vast biodiversity and the ways that creatures adapt themselves to their environment. This moth is a tree borer, using the nutrients from deep inside trees and other plants to feed. While some plant owners find them a nuisance, for entomologists and enthusiasts like those in the Facebook group, these insects are well-loved for their variety of shapes, sizes, and colorings.
Taylor’s find in Camp Mountain had a wingspan of 10 inches, putting it at the upper limit of most Cossidaes, which range from 3 ½ – 9 ½ inches on average.
The next day, Taylor returned to the site and found that her fêted friend had found himself a female companion after recent rain. Updating the group, she wrote: “I went to check on him this morning to see if he survived the storm last night…. he definitely kept himself busy!”
Taylor’s find delighted entomologists on the Facebook page and highlighted one of the many different ways that Australia’s natural beauty manifests. Check out more photos and keep up with the discussion at Amateur Entomology Australia’s group!Whizzco