Winter Mothing #1

Moths are much scarcer during the cold months, but it’s still worth the effort to investigate the winter flying species. The following examples over two nights are all from a native garden with eucalypts, wattles, she-oaks, and many shrubs in the Proteaceae and Rutaceae. The genus Capusa in the Geometridae,¬†Ennominae, Nacophorini, is interesting in that they fold their wings around their bodies, unlike the majority in the family that spread their wings. This creates a problem as it is the hidden hind wings that are important for identification of species. Two came to the light on this night, and fortunately one spread a wing enough to show the brown toning and give the id. of C. graodes. This moth flies from February to November with July being the main month, they are both females.

Brown Wedge-moth.

The Chlenias banksiaria group, Ennominae, Nacophorini, contains several species to which the names have not yet been able to be positively assigned due to the difficulty of identification. The main flight months are late autumn and winter, and two males came to the light on a cold night that saw only four moths come in. The first is fairly typical of the garden population while the second is much more strongly marked than any previously recorded.

The next moth, a Cossid, Zyganisus propedia was recorded also in June four years ago, the larvae tunnel under bark.

A single specimen of Dasygaster paddockina, Noctuidae, Hadeninae, came in on both nights.

Finally a small Tortricid, id. unknown.

Click to enlarge.

References and further reading,
Moths of Victoria Volume 5.