Probably Ghost Moth from Australia

Location:  Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
January 19, 2014
I don’t know if this mail will get to you Daniel.
I attach some photo’s of the moth. I live in Rockhampton Queensland and I have lived in the bush for a number of years and I have never seen such a big moth. I live in the city now.

Wood Moth
Ghost Moth

Hi James,
Thanks for providing a comment on a Ghost Moth posting and also for sending your photo.  We are uncertain if this is a Ghost Moth in the family Hepialidae or a Wood Moth in the family Cossidae.  Both are large moths that have tree boring caterpillars sometimes called Witchity Grubs in Australia.

My goodness Daniel,
You have certainly expanded my education. Witchity Grubs I certainly know, and yes, I did eat one. One was enough for my tender stomach. They are a large white grub, a bit over an inch and a quarter in length and about a half an inch in diameter. But I never even thought that they would/could turn into anything else except be grubs.
They usually live under the bark of dead/rotting fallen trees or stumps. Do they turn into anything else, like a “chrylist” or however you spell it before they emerge as a moth?  If so, what would I look for to recognise them?
If you live in Australia, I will post the moth to you if you give me an address. If you live overseas, it might be unlawful to post it.
Anyway, I have never seen a moth even half as big as this one. The biggest flying beetles I have seen are the Elephant or Rhinoceros; That might be a local name for them. This moths’ body is at least twice as long as those beetles.
If you know of any person in Rockhampton Queensland that is knowledgeable about moths, I will try to get them to identify it.
Thank you for your kindness in answering my mail.

Hi again James,
The Witchety Grub does have a pupa stage prior to emergence as a moth.  We are not in Australia, but rather, in Los Angeles, California.  We have already posted the image of the moth you sent and it is live on our website.  We don’t understand the unlawfulness of posting the image because we are overseas.

haha. No Daniel, I meant that I would post the dead moth to you if posting it to you is legal and if you want me to post it to you.

Thanks for the offer, but we do not accept specimens.

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