The Lasiocampidae.


Also known as the Snout Moths due to the appearance of the pair of modified palps found in some species. Of the twelve Australian genera, eight are listed for Victoria in Moths of Victoria Vol. 1, and of those eight, moths from six have come to the light locally. Two species that illustrate the common name well are the Rufous Snout Moth, Pararguda rufescens, a eucalypt species, and theĀ  Wattle Snout Moth, Pararguda nasuta.

P. rufescens male.


This large female was joined by the smaller male, possibly attracted by her pheromones.

P. nasuta females.

The caterpillars are most interesting, having fringes of side hairs that help them blend in to their perch, these are larvae of Pararguda nasuta. Feeding on various plants, the larvae are variable in colour, perhaps due to location and food source. The first was photographed years ago in Far East Gippsland, scanned from a Kodachrome slide, the other in the home garden.

Click to enlarge,

Reference and further reading, Moths of Victoria Vol. 1.

April in the Box/Ironbark

Following on from the previous post, the bush is extremely dry with the continuing drought, and the number and range of moths to the light was well below par. Just one sizeable moth came in briefly, a Monoctenia, but it quickly flew off into the night and didn’t return. The Painted Cup Moth, Doratifera oxleyi (Limacodidae) is flying at the moment with females coming to the light.

The male is quite different, here is one from a previous occasion.

The Orange Cup Moth, Pseudanapaea transvestita also came in.

Pyralids were among the most numerous at the light. Salma species can be most attractive with their neat and tidy appearance featuring subtle colours and patterns.

Salma cholica.

Salma marmorea.

Larvae of the Jagged Bark-moth, Lipogya exprimataria, (Boarmiinae) feed on foliage of Exocarpos cupressiformis. A large tree stands near the mothing spot, and the adults have been regular at the light during flight months, April being the peak time.

About the only other Geometrid to come in was the Grey-caped Line Moth, a female
Stibaroma melanotoxa (Nacophorini)

Small moths were the most numerous and included these two Tortricids,

Meritastis pyrosemana

Meritastis lythrodana.

Nola monozona (Nolinae) is known as the Epaulette Tuft-moth for obvious reasons.

And to conclude, a rather worn little longhorned moth, Crocanthes micradelpha, (Lecithoceridae) The larvae, In common with many of the small moths feed on dead leaves on the forest floor, helping to recycle them and reduce fire risk. This mothing location has not been burnt for over sixty years, is very open, and the recycling of the leaf litter occurring due to abundant invertebrate life is an object lesson in the efficiency of the natural processes.