Mum tells of shock after discovery of moth the 'size of her hand' outside home
A WOMAN got the fright of her life when she spotted a moth the size of a bat at the bathroom window of her Cork home.
Patricia said she had never seen an insect like it - with the white, brown and red-coloured moth roughly the size of her outstretched hand.
"He was so big I'd nearly want to charge him rent," she said.
Patricia issued an appeal via RedFM's Neil Prendeville Show to determine the precise species of moth involved - with her son managing to photograph the moth as it crawled between the window and an outside wall of their home.
"I went out (to the bathroom), brushed my teeth and then I saw this looking in the window at me - I nearly died. The noise he was making at the window was unreal," she said.
"He was outside - but he was trying to get up and in the window because of the light.
"He had lovely covering when I looked at the pictures later.
"He was the biggest moth I ever saw. He was really, really big."
"I never in my life got such a fright. He was the size of my hand. A friend said to me he was like a Hawk Moth."
Hawk Moths or Sphingidae are comprised of 1,400 species of moths which can grow as large as 10cm.
However, they are normally found in the tropics or warm parts of North America.
They are renowned for their flight ability, being fast and agile with some species also boasting the ability to hover.
Some can reach speeds of almost 20km per hour.
Ireland has more than 1,200 different types of moths including the Poplar Hawk Moth and Hummingbird Hawk Moth.
Some have been mistaken in the past for small birds.
"He was the size of my hand with his wings out," Patricia said.
Patricia's son managed to take photos of the giant moth on a camera phone.
Later, the moth was spotted crawling around the flowers in the garden of their Cork home.
"He was out in the flower box with all the flowers with a dead leaf over him. He had a big fat white head on him. There is a dash of red on his body as well.
"I didn't want to harm him but I got an awful fright from him.
"I'm used to moths flying around lights but I'd never seen the likes of this fella," she said.