Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas post 2015


                                                                LYMANRTIIDAE Possibly Acyphas Sp

Obviously this photo uses a little digital trickery. The right half is the original photo, including the reflections, and the one on the left is a mirrored copy. I hope you like it.

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 Metopiora sanguinata HADENINAE NOCTUIDAE

The moth, Metopiora sanguinata, below is not a fake. They breed on grasses and are fairly common at times in the northern and eastern parts of Australia. Leaving some grass un-mown around the yard certainly increases the chance of seeing them, as with all the grass moths.




Family:- NOCTUIDAE
Sub Family:- HADENINAE
Genus:- Metopiora
Species:- sanguinata





This is the last post for 2015 and I will be back in the New Year.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and remember, January is usually a bumper month for moths.

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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The final SPHINGIDAE family (Hawk Moths)  photos

 This week is the last of the Hawk moths photos. I have put them together over the last few weeks to make it easier to compare for identification.





 Family:- SPHINGIDAE
Sub Family:- MACROGLOSSINAE
Genus:- Theretra
Species:- tryoni










Theretra tryoni larvae are said to feed on Araceae family of plants including the native cunjevoi (Alocasia macrorrhizos) and arum lilly (Zantedeschia aethiopica)





Family:- SPHINGIDAE
Sub Family:- MACROGLOSSINAE
Genus:- Theretra
Species:- margarita










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Moving on from Hawk moths,

Ophiusa tirhaca CATOCALINAE NOCTUIDAE




 Family:- NOCTUIDAE
Sub Family:- CATOCALINAE
Genus:- Ophiusa
Species:- tirhaca










 One common name I came across for Ophiusa tirhaca, was "Drab Green moth". Maybe the sample moth was a bit on the old and faded side.
 In Australia the larvae have been found on mango flowers and mistletoe, in other parts of the world they have been found on plants from the family Myrtaceae. For more plants see the web site  http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/calp/tirhaca.html



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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Family SPHINGIDAE (Hawk Moths) continued

Continuing on from last week, here are a few more from the family SPHINGIDAE.
 



Family:- SPHINGIDAE
Sub Family:- MACROGLOSSINAE
Genus:- Gnathothlibus
Species:- erotus Sub Species Eras












Family:- SPHINGIDAE
Sub Family:- MACROGLOSSINAE
Genus:-  Hippotion
Species:- celerio








Family:- SPHINGIDAE
Sub Family:- MACROGLOSSINAE
Genus:- Hippotion
Species:- scrofa









Family:- SPHINGIDAE
Sub Family:- MACROGLOSSINAE
Genus:- Macroglossum 
Species:- hirundo sub species errans











Family:- SPHINGIDAE
Sub Family:- SPHINGINAE
Genus:- Psilogramma
Species:- Sp Poss menephron







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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

 Family Sphingidae (Hawk Moths)

 
                                                                                      Agrius convolvuli

Hawk moths tend to be large moths. In this area around 100mm wingspan is generally what we find.
They are fast flying streamlined moths capable of hovering before a flower, extending the proboscis to drink nectar.

This is usually fairly quick and easy to miss but is quite spectacular to see.
The hind wings are often brightly coloured. The larval food plants are varied and in some cases the larvae are considered a pest on crop plants.

In some cases it can be hard to identify the moths to species level from photos alone, because the can vary in wing patterns.





Family:- SPHINGIDAE
Sub Family:- SMERINTHINAE
Genus:-  Coequosa
Species:- australasiae








Family:- SPHINGIDAE
Sub Family:- SPHINGINAE
Genus:-  Agrius
Species:- godarti








Family:- SPHINGIDAE
Sub Family:- SPHINGINAE
Genus:- Agrius  
Species:- Sp













Family:- SPHINGIDAE
Sub Family:- SPHINGINAE
Genus:- Agrius 
Species:- convolvuli



I will put some more Hawk moth photos on next week.

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Wednesday, 25 November 2015


Caution with Caterpillars

 Chelepteryx collesi ANTHELINAE ANTHELIDAE

Anyone who has much to do with moths and caterpillars, should be aware that a few species of moth larvae, like the larvae of the Chelepteryx collesi pictured, have hairs and spines that can cause rather severe skin irritation.
The hairs on some species of moth larvae, can be barbed, while others are not barbed but both can penetrate the skin if touched. If not removed they can cause problems. In some other species, some of the hairs (setae) are hollow and if touched may break off and a toxin is released causing a sharp stinging sensation followed by a persistent itchy rash.
Because the caterpillars also weave the hairs into their cocoons, handling cocoons and cast off skins can also cause problems.
Adult moths don't very often cause problems but inhalation of scales in any quantity can cause an allergic reaction in susceptible people.



Family:- ANTHELIDAE
Sub Family:- ANTHELINAE
Genus:- Chelepteryx
Species:- collesi







Chelepteryx collesi ANTHELINAE ANTHELIDAE
White-stemmed Gum Moth
These are a large and rather beautiful moth around 150mm to 160mm winspan.
The males if annoyed strike a pose that makes them look like a spider about to strike. The larvae feed on gum trees. They have an annual life cycle living most of their lives as caterpillars. The adults who are unable to eat only last a few days.

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Chelepteryx chalepteryx ANTHELINAE ANTHELIDAE






Family:- ANTHELIDAE
Sub Family:- ANTHELINAE
Genus:- Chelepteryx
Species:- chalepteryx



Chelepteryx chalepteryx ANTHELINAE ANTHELIDAE
The larvae in captivity have been fed Acacia (Mimosaceae), Exocarpos cupressiformis, (native cherry) it belongs to the sandalwood family of plants (Santalaceae), also Choretrum candollei  "White Sour-Bush" (also Santalaceae).
They are smaller than C. collesi and have a similar life cycle.

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Large Emperor Moth

Syntherata janetta SATURNIIDAE



Family:- SATURNIIDAE
Sub Family:-
Genus:- Syntherata
Species:- janetta




Syntherata janetta SATURNIIDAE
This weeks blog was all ready to go last night when this moth hit our window.
A spectacular large moth with 100mm wingspan. The colour variations in the species range from yellow to purple/grey. You can see hints of this in the wing colour in the photos.
They seem to have been found on a large range of trees from unrelated plant families.
We don't get to see moths from Saturniidae very often because they have a limited life as adults. Their proboscis (feeding tube), is either undeveloped or missing and so they can't feed. They would only live a few days.

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Caloptilia xanthopharella GRACILLARIINAE GRACILLARIIDAE

 


Family:- GRACILLARIIDAE
Sub Family:- GRACILLARIINAE
Genus:- Caloptilia
Species:- xanthopharella




Caloptilia xanthopharella GRACILLARIINAE GRACILLARIIDAE
This second moth is at the opposite end of the scale in size. At less than 6mm it is easy to miss them. The larvae start by living between the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves of  the cheese tree, Glochidion ferdinandi (Phyllanthaceae). Later they progress to eating the surface of the leaves. Making a shelter by rolling parts of the leaf into a round cone shape. They pupate in this shelter.

Along with Saturniidae, this is another new family we have found here, bringing the total of
the moth families we have found on this 1 Hectare (2.5 Acre) lot to 39.




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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Tropical Tiger Moths and Black-spotted Moths

Digama marmorea AGANAIDAE
 The first moth this week is the Digama marmorea AGANAIDAE. They belong to a group of tropical tiger moths as opposed to our more regular tiger moths in the family ARTIIDAE. This one is not as spectacular perhaps but is a regular visitor here.
The larval food plant is Carissa ovata (Apocynaceae).
See:-   http://toowoombaplants2008.blogspot.com.au/search?q=Carissa+ovata










Family:- AGANAIDAE
Sub Family:-
Genus:- Digama
Species:- marmorea






Update 24 May 2017
Digama marmoreal is now Sommeria marmoreal and the family AGANAIDAE  is now a subfamily of the newly formed (about 2012) family EREBIDAE.
There have been many changes to the moth taxonomy but not all sites are up to speed with the new listings. I believe "boldsystems.org" is fairly reliable.

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Ethmia clytodoxa ETHMIIDAE
Ethmia sporadica (possibly) ETHMIIDAE
These next two moths are from the family ETHMIIDAE commonly called "Black spotted moths".  This is fairly obvious with Ethmia clytodoxa and less so with my sample of Ethmia  sporadica. I am reasonably sure of the identification but I have put "Possible" after the species because some pictures of them have more dots than my sample.





Family:- ETHMIIDAE
Sub Family:-
Genus:- Ethmia
Species:- clytodoxa









Family:- ETHMIIDAE
Sub Family:-
Genus:- Ethmia 
Species:- sporadica (Possibly)











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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Mites on Moths

 Moths can suffer from mites both as caterpillars and as adult moths. The one pictured on the right wing in the photo below would probably have affected its ability to fly.







Family:- OECOPHORIDAE
Sub Family:- OECOPHORINAE
Genus:- Acantholena
Species:- siccella








The mite is probably an Erythraeidae mite

Phylum Arthropoda - Arthropods
Subphylum Chelicerata - Chelicerates
Class Arachnida - Arachnids
Subclass Acari - Mites and Ticks

The following text has been taken from the two web sites listed below.
http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/online-resources/fauna/afd/taxa/ERYTHRAEIDAE
http://www.csiro.au/en/Research/Collections/ANIC/Insect-research/Mites-Research

" Mites are not insects, but arachnids, a group that also includes spiders, scorpions and harvestmen, and a few other groups of small invertebrates.
Mites occur in all imaginable habitats – in soil and water, on the bottom of the sea, and on plants and the bodies of other animals. Most mites are small, less than 1 mm in length, so they often go unnoticed until they make their presence felt in some way."

"The Erythraeidae are a large cosmopolitan family of about 300 species of mites that are found on soil, in litter, and on vegetation (Walter et al. 2009). The adults are large and conspicuous, often brightly coloured in red and orange. The adults are predators, which are often found to be beneficial in contributing to the control of pests such as spider mites, scale insects, and aphids (reviewed by Gerson et al. 2003). The larvae of Erythraeidae are parasites on many different groups of insects and other arthropods."

About half a million species are believed to exist worldwide, but the great majority have never been studied or even named. About 3000 named species occur in Australia, but the actual number of species present is certainly much greater than that.


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 Catadoceta xanthostephana OECOPHORINAE OECOPHORIDAE




Family:- OECOPHORIDAE
Sub Family:- OECOPHORINAE
Genus:- Catadoceta
Species:- xanthostephana



The larvae of this genus appear to mostly eat dead Eucalyptus leaves although some eat the green leaves.

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Garrha Sp OECOPHORINAE OECOPHORIDAE


Family:- OECOPHORIDAE
Sub Family:- OECOPHORINAE
Genus:- Garrha
Species:- Sp







There are about 40 described Garrha species in Australia throughout Eucalypt forests. They are often
difficult to tell one species from another due to variations in patterns.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Family CRAMBIDAE

Having just updated the index page, I realised that there were not many photos from the family Crambidae. The family contains some of our brightest coloured moths.
They used to be included in the family PYRALIDAE, but are now in a group of their own.
There are some members of CRAMBIDAE whose caterpillars spend their life underwater eating pond weed.





Family:- CRAMBIDAE
Sub Family:- SPILOMELINAE
Genus:- Deuterarcha
Species:- xanthomela


A common species in inland Australia and Eastern ranges.











Family:- CRAMBIDAE
Sub Family:- SPILOMELINAE
Genus:- Diathrausta
Species:- ochreipennis











Family:- CRAMBIDAE
Sub Family:- SPILOMELINAE
Genus:- Dichocrosis
Species:- clytusalis





The larval food plants of Dichocrosis clytusalis are Brachychiton.
This moth has had a number of name changes over the years.






 Family:- CRAMBIDAE
Sub Family:- SPILOMELINAE
Genus:- Glyphodes
Species:- onychinalis








Family:- CRAMBIDAE
Sub Family:- SPILOMELINAE
Genus:- Glyphodes
Species:- pulverulentalis




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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Moths from the last week

 We still have not had any rain and some of the plants are beginning to show signs of stress. Despite the lack of rain, the last week has produced quite a lot of new moths, many that I have not seen before and have yet to identify.
However , this weeks selection contains two new and two old.

Amata aperta CTENUCHINAE ARCTIIDAE

 





 Family:- ARCTIIDAE
Sub Family:- CTENUCHINAE
Genus:- Amata
Species:- aperta




 


In our case the larval food plant is probably dead Eucalyptus leaves.

 

 

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Dysgonia latizona CATOCALINAE NOCTUIDAE




Family:- NOCTUIDAE
Sub Family:- CATOCALINAE
Genus:- Dysgonia
Species:- latizona






This quite a large moth and the larval food plant here is probably a Breynia Sp (PHYLLANTHACEAE)


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Notarcha aurolinealis SPILOMELINAE CRAMBIDAE




Family:- CRAMBIDAE
Sub Family:- SPILOMELINAE
Genus:- Notarcha
Species:- polytimeta








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Cernia amyclaria OENOCHROMINAE GEOMETRIDAE



Family:- GEOMETRIDAE
Sub Family:- OENOCHROMINAE
Genus:- Cernia
Species:- amyclaria




This is another moth whose larvae feed on Eucalyptus.

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