• Question: how big is the world biggest moth?

    Asked by charlottelouise to Cesar, Emily, Jamie, Kate, Philippa on 21 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Jamie Gallagher

      Jamie Gallagher answered on 16 Jun 2011:

      Hi Charlotte,
      Well I did wikipedia this one- scientists use it all the time anyway. It is a good starting point if you want to research something. It can give you a rough idea of what you might want to read up on then you can read more scientific material.

      Wiki tells me that the largest moth is the Atlas moth from South Asia. which can be around 30 cm.

      Lots of people are scared of them, but I don’t mind moths. Though if I had a few that size in my house I might not be happy!

    • Photo: Emily Robinson

      Emily Robinson answered on 19 Jun 2011:

      Agh… this fact freaked me out! I don’t mind any other kind of creepy crawly etc. But I hate moths!! I know it is an irrational fear but they make me very nervous when they fly in very unpredictable way. I learnt some interesting facts in one of my degree units about moths and bats. Bats eat moths, so bats have evolved to recognise moths with their sonar which helps them to catch them, but some moths have evolved a very handy trick called the ‘drop and roll’ so when they hear the bats coming they actually just stop flapping their wings and drop in the sky till they are out of the range of the bat. It is funny how a different species can change the evolution pressure of a species.

      I wonder what the predator is that eats a giant moth! Do you like moths?

    • Photo: Philippa Demonte

      Philippa Demonte answered on 19 Jun 2011:

      @charlottelouise I don’t know the answer to this question, but I bet that even bigger moths than now used to exist. Around 300 million years ago during a geological period known as the Carboniferous, insects were massive! We know this from fossil evidence.

    • Photo: Kate Clancy

      Kate Clancy answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Seeing you all get freaked out by the idea of a big moth (and I am also freaked out by the idea) reminded me of something funny I heard from an entymologist friend of mine. He studies ants, and he says every ant person he knows is afraid of spiders. And he says it’s mostly silly to be afraid of spiders because most of them are harmless, and the venomous ones will only attack you if you attack first. The exception is the Australian funnel-web spider: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_funnel-web_spider

      My friend says that these guys will actually come after you! If you happen to walk near their web and they feel the vibration, they jump out and try to bite you. Just knowing that made me more afraid of other spiders though, not less!