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Autumn Mothing #4

The short late autumn day saw the light shining in the box/ironbark bush by by five thirty, and the first moth arrived soon after, a small tortricid barely 10 mm long.

As expected it was fairly quiet for the next hour, but then things changed dramatically when the first Batwing Moth, Chelepteryx collesi, (Anthelidae), flew in to land on the ground. Quite a contrast in size to the above, with wingspans in the species of up to 125mm.

The two Chelepteryx species, C. collesi and C. chalepteryx are autumn flying moths with April and May the main months. Previous occasions have seen up to fifteen C. collesi come to the light in forest containing peppermints, and it was of interest to see if the box/ironbark/stringy bush was also to their liking. The answer was a resounding yes, as over the next three hours thirty five flew in. The majority stayed on the forest floor or the ground sheet, a corner of which is illustrated below. In order to avoid treading on any it was necessary to relocate a number to nearby Stypandra glauca bushes, where most were happy to remain.

This one was placed on a red stringy trunk for a picture.

C. collesi was also expected, but it was three hours before one arrived, followed later by another. They were much more restless than the batwings and it was quite some time before they settled for photo opportunities.

Geometrids were well represented with some interesting records, firsts for the location.
Firstly, the Jagged Bark Moth, Lipogya exprimataria. (Ennominae, Boarmiinae.)

The Annulus Crest-moth, Nisista notodontaria. (Ennominae, Nacophorini.)

Also encountered at this site twelve months ago, the Russet Crest-moth, Fisera hypoleuca. (Ennominae, Nacophorini.)



This next moth in the same sub family is a very unusual form of Plesanemma fucata, the Lemon Gum Moth, compare the pictures with this image of the typical form.

Moving to the Geometrinae sub family, Chlorocoma MOV (sp. 5)
This moth is identified by its dorsal line and plain wings with pink-tipped fringe.

The male Plumed Carpet, Chloroclystis approximata, is a very attractive small moth in the Larentiinae sub family.

The female is differently shaped and much plainer. Several came in and were quite worn.

More photos of the night’s moths can be seen here

References and further reading,
M Hewish, P Marriott,
Moths of Victoria Volumes 1,3,4,5, and 7.

Click images to enlarge.


Autumn Mothing #3

It was back up into the foothills and Gladstone Creek for this session. There had been some rain since the last visit, and the vegetation was looking a lot fresher. There was some water in the pool beneath the cliff too, the birds would appreciate that. With the light shining soon after 6 PM, action was slow in beginning, in fact that was the story for the whole night, moth arrivals were widely spaced, but happily the quality was there with some good records. One of the early ones was a female Nisista, named in MOV 5 as sp. (1), Ennominae, Nacophorini. it was able to be photographed with wings closed and also widely spread showing the hind wings.

Another in the same group was Cassythaphaga macarta, the Cassytha Cape-moth, an autumn flying moth that was photographed at the same location just twelve months ago. The habitat must be to its liking.

As it also appears to be for another regular at this spot, Epicoma sp. (1), (MOV 2)

At the risk of being repetitive, Hylaeora eucalypti, the Gum Rough-head, Notodontidae,  is another moth that likes this tall-forested area. This pristine individual landed on the ground sheet from where it was moved to safer surroundings.

And this is the feature that gives the moth its common name, quite beautiful in closeup.

Rhinodia rostraria, the Necklace Geometrid, Ennominae, Caberini, flies for nine months of the year with April the last before winter. It is a moth that often holds its wings vertically and that can make for a nice photo. It can be quite a wait for it to spread its wings enough to photograph the upper surface.

This Noctuid was spotted low down on the stand behind the sheet, at the moment its identity is under investigation.

The Epidesmias, Oenochrominae,  are also known as triangular moths for obvious reasons. this is Epidesmia tryxaria, the Neat Epidesmia,  showing the dark palpi that are a distinguishing feature.

All the moths photographed can be seen here.

Click images to enlarge.
References and further reading, Moths of Victoria Volumes 2,4, 5, and 7.



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