Australian Stephen Currie said he survived on a diet of butterflies and fruit after getting lost in the bush. File picture: Marco Ugarte

Sydney - An Australian man missing in bushland and given up for dead survived for a month in searing heat on a diet of butterflies, shellfish and fruit, news reports said on Thursday.

Stephen Currie, 40, was 15kg lighter when he was found on Tuesday, 10km from his Queensland hometown of Chillagoe, 200km west of Cairns, after being declared missing on December 29.

He told police he had left his caravan to go for a walk, and got lost on the way back, the Cairns Post reported.

He was found by a local on a bush track.

“By all money, I thought he was gone,” Police Constable Vince Marcel told the Cairns Post.

“He just had a pair of shorts on - no shoes, no hat, no provisions.”