Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Amazing world in one tree.

Erechthias citrinopa ERECHTHIINAE TINEIDAE

In our yard we have a grafted Brachychiton tree and around that tree in the early morning sun are swarms of tiny moths. All that can be seen are bright flashes as the sun catches the wings. They are very active and it is difficult to focus on them. Having captured one, it was so small (about 4 to 5mm), that I couldn't to get a good look at it. Imagine my delight when I saw what I had photographed.




Family:- TINEIDAE
Sub Family:- ERECHTHIINAE
Genus:- Erechthias
Species:- citrinopa




There is not much information on the biology of these moths.
I don't know what these moths use the tree for. If they are able to eat they may be after the sticky stuff on the leaves or the tree may be the larval food plant.

Last night I went spotlighting at the tree, and was not surprised to find a number of other moths species spiders, ants and of course the moths that I originally photographed.




Family:- GEOMETRIDAE
Sub Family:- LARENTIINAE
Genus:-
Species:-

Also see last weeks entry.













 Family:- PYRALIDAE
Sub Family:- PHYCITINAE
Genus:-
Species:-








Family:- ARCTIIDAE
Sub Family:- LITHOSIINAE
Genus:- Scaptesyle
Species:- dichotoma







Family:- HERMINIIDAE
Sub Family:-
Genus:- Simplicia
Species:- armatalis




Note that all these moths are licking the surface of the leaves. They will either be drinking the honeydew or getting minerals. This licking is also common in many butterflies.

The tree is infested with leaf hoppers, possibly Flatid Planthoppers (Flatidae), in all stages of development and the sticky substance they excrete covers the leaves. The leafhoppers appear to be preyed upon by 3 species of ladybug. I also photographed a wasp that appears to harvest the sticky droplets from the leaf hopper nymphs by prodding them. There are numerous hover flies that hang around the tree later in the day. Many other insects can also be seen on the tree including other wasps, flies and lacewings.

What an amazing world there is in that one tree.



Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Family GEOMETRIDAE sub family LARENTIINAE

(Carpets)

 GEOMETRIDAE LARENTIINAE XANTHORHOINI Chrysolarentia Sp






Family:- GEOMETRIDAE
Sub Family:- GEOMETRINAE
Genus:- Chrysolarentia (probably)
Species:- unknown



These moths fall into a group called "Carpets", no doubt because of their wing patterns.
There are about 20 Australian species and they are difficult to tell apart from a photo. Mostly they are from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia but obviously come a bit further north at times. All the ones I have seen here recently have the habit of landing with their wings up like butterflies. they breed on a wide range of  native and introduces plants.



This was photographed a couple of weeks ago.
It may be Epyaxa Species.










So far as I have been able to tell the one below probably also belongs to the same subfamily and probably the same Genus.
                                                                                                                                                                       


Family:- GEOMETRIDAE
Sub Family:- LARENTIINAE
Genus:- Chrysolarentia (possibly)
Species:-



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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Pingasa  cinerea  GEOMETRINAE GEOMETRIDAE



  Pingasa cinerea GEOMETRINAE GEOMETRIDAE
This moth has an unusual rest position. As you can see, in the photo above it is able to unlock it's wings and put them forward in front of it's head. It will also rest at times, with the wings more open (below) and is also capable of resting with the wings out flat like most Geometrid moths. If they land near lichen, they can be quite hard to spot.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                
                                                                               
                              Undersides
 



     Family:- GEOMETRIDAE
     Sub Family:- GEOMETRINAE
     Genus:- Pingasa
      Species:- cinerea 
 .

    











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Thursday, 10 September 2015

Family Uraniidae



 Family:- URANIIDAE
Sub Family:- EPIPLEMINAE
Genus:- Phazaca
Species:- interupta (possibly)

Some of the moths of this family are able to change their wing shape at rest, by rolling their wings.
While most of the family are day flying moths, the ones in this post were photographed when they came to light at night.
While they can separate and roll their wings, they will often spread their wings out flat as well. This can make them quite difficult to identify.
I have included a variety of wing shapes to give some idea of the variety.




Family:- URANIIDAE
Sub Family:- EPIPLEMINAE
Genus:- Dirades
Species:- lugens (possibly)




There are a few moths belonging to other families that are capable of rolling their wings.
Another notable feature of the family is that they have abdominal hearing organs. Yes, some moths can hear.
A notable member Uraniidae, is the large day flying Zodiac moth (Alcides metaurus). It looks and acts like a butterfly but is a moth. It is said to come as far south as Mackay. I recently saw one in the botanic gardens there, and saw many at a beach picnic area near Innisfail North Queensland.  

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

TORTRICIDAE (continued from last week)



                                                       



 Family:- TORTRICIDAE
Sub Family:- OLETHREUTINAE
Genus:- Grapholita
Species:- zapyrana




Clicking on the photos will give a larger image.


Grapholita zapyrana GRAPHOLITINI OLETHREUTINAE TORTRICIDAE
 The first photos here are another example of the way the colours of the moths can change depending on the angle of the light on their scales. The final photo includes a plastic rule with 1mm scale.
In our garden it is likely that they are breeding on Hardenbergia (Fabaceae). (Also see changing colours, Wednesday, 8 July 2015 post).


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Family:- TORTRICIDAE
Sub Family:- TOTRICINAE
Genus:- Merophyas
Species:- divulsana








Merophyas divulsana ARCHIPINI TORTRICINAE TORTRICIDAE
Its common name of lucerne leaf-roller comes from being a pest on lucerne, and will breed on many herbaceous plants common in suburban gardens. It is wide spread throughout Australia and New Zealand.




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Family:- TORTRICIDAE
Sub Family:- TOTRICINAE
Genus:- Goboea
Species:- copiosana










Goboea copiosana EPITYMBINI TOTRICINAE TORTRICIDAE
The larval food may be Araucaria. According to "A Guide to Australian Moths", (Paul Zborowski, ‎Ted Edwards - 2007), "they have been reared on bunya pine and hoop pine".


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