Sunday, May 25, 2008

Huge moth stuns family

Behemoth: Mitch Ralston has a great story for school after this Hercules moth took up residence in his Port Douglas home,
Measuring 26cm wing tip-to-wing tip, this Hercules moth stopped in at Sue and Iain Ralston’s home near Port Douglas, north of Cairns, for two days, fascinating their nature loving sons Sam and Mitch.

The giant insects have a 10-day lifespan and are attracted to veranda lights, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary manager Anja Bakker told The Cairns Post yesterday.

"We’re really lucky that we’ve got the largest moth flying around here," she said.

"They come out throughout the year but they are more frequent in summer months."

The nine and six-year-old brothers were disappointed when they awoke to find the moth gone from the family’s bi-fold door on their Spring Creek property.

Mrs Ralston said the boys would have liked to preserve the insect at the end of its short lifespan.

"They were slightly disappointed," Mrs Ralston said.

"They wanted it to stay here but they understood it was nature."

The family, who live in a pole home 13km from Port Douglas, usually get snakes, bats and green frogs inhabiting the house but nothing "larger than life".

"We’ve lived 14 years in this house and we’ve never seen anything like this before," Mrs Ralston said.

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