Spring in the Box/Ironbark.

The first bush mothing session for the new season was held in the red box/ironbark/red stringy forest at Glenmaggie. The evening was calm and mild but gradually cooled down as time progressed. Every occasion has something of interest, and this time it was the considerable numbers of several species that came in to the light. They were Gauna aegusalis, Euchaetis rhizobola, Termessa nivosa, Sorama bicolor, and Iropoca rotundata. And as usual there were interesting new records for the location and the moth-er, the uncommonly seen Nola paroxynta, and an undescribed species of Elesma, Elesma sp(1) (MOV 2)

Nola paroxynta. (Nolinae) The Neat Tuft-moth.

Elesma sp(1) (Nolinae)

Although it’s early in the season a few moths were quite worn, showing they had been on the wing for some time. This emerald though was very fresh.

Chlorocoma sp(5) (MOV 4)

Termessa nivosa, (Lithosiinae) is a bright little moth, quite a few were flitting around.

The Snowy Footman.

The unusual posture of Gauna aegusalis, (Pyralidae) always attracts attention.

The bodies of many moths can be eye catching, though normally hidden in repose. This female Nataxa flavescens obliged with a revealing attitude.

The Nataxa Moth.

Neola semiaurata, (Notodontidae) is a specialty of this long unburnt bush property. Several came in with this one displaying its golden hind wings while perching on the light stand

The Golden Notodontid,

Cyneoterpna wilsoni (Geometrinae) is an attractive moth, this female is also very fresh.

Wilson’s Grey.

As is this female Thallogama destinataria, (Boarmiinae) with its wing fringes intact.

The Dappled Bark Moth.

Another Notodontid, Sorama bicolor is quite common, but usually settles with its wings closed. On this night a number arrived, with many fluttering around giving different photo opportunities.

The Two-coloured Notodontid.

Finally, one of several male Iropoca rotundata, (Lymantriidae) the females have vestigial wings and are flightless.

The Iropoca Moth.

Click images to enlarge.

References and further reading,
Moths of Victoria Volumes 1,2,4,7.

All moths photographed can be seen here.




Night time temperatures have remained low until now, so it seemed timely on the first mild night of spring to sample moths from the garden. The action was far from brisk with only a small number of arrivals, mainly common species, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have their time in the spotlight. The rig was set up in the workshop doorway to escape the breeze, and a few moths like this male Crypsiphona ocultaria, (Geometrinae) preferred to settle on the concrete instead of the sheet. It held its wings vertically for a time displaying some of the under-wing detail.

Epyaxa subidaria, (Larentiinae) is a very common moth that flies during every month of the year. This is a female.

Another very common moth is Scopula rubraria, (Sterrhinae) often disturbed when walking through grassy areas. Also a female.

Gastrina cristaria, (Ennominae) is entering its main flying months, this is a male.

One of the smaller Geometrids is Chloroclystis testulata. (Larentiinae) MOV 3 notes that the larvae feed mainly on Acacia flowers. With the Snowy River and Gold Dust Wattles in flower there is plenty of food for them.

Moths in the genus Taxeotis, (Oenochrominae) can be difficult to identify. This one is probably T. perlinearia.

A member of the Oecophoridae, Euchaetis rhizobola is a very attractive moth. The sickle-shaped palps can be seen curving back over the head.

Another bright Oecophorid is Hemibela hemicalypta.

Nola vernalis, (Nolinae) is not unusual from the garden, pointing to a resident population.


The Southern Armyworm, Persectania ewingii (Hadeninae) is also very common to the light. A strong flier it is known to migrate across Bass Strait to Tasmania.

Another Noctuid, Ectopatria horologa (Noctuinae) is quite eye catching.

There are three Victorian species in the Spilosoma genus, (Arctiinae) S. curvata is the most common to the light in this area.

Two other small moths are awaiting identification.

Click all images to enlarge.