Garden Moths May #2

Following the record of Chrysolarentia actinipha a week ago, another session was called for to see if any more were about. That proved to be not the case, but there was another surprise. At the beginning of January a Chelepteryx collesi larva was discovered behind a loose sheet of Angophora costata bark, and duly photographed.

The loose bark was secured to protect the larva, and in due course it disappeared, hopefully to pupate somewhere in the canopy. May is the main flight month for this species and males can come to the light in quite large numbers. A check of the light after two hours on this night hit the jackpot with a male moth, in all likelihood the adult of the January larva. How this species appeared in a garden many kilometres from its natural range remains intriguing.

The Batwing Moth.

Moths in the Paralaea genus fly in autumn, and two species came in to the light, this is Paralaea beggaria, a female with short antenna fringes visible. (Emmominae, Nacophorini)

The Peppermint Looper Moth.

Males and females of Paralaea porphyrinaria were numerous.

The Chestnut-veined Crest Moth.



Moths in the Chlenias banksiaria group also fly in autumn, this is a particularly nice male. (Ennominae, Nacophorini)

Noctuids generally have simple antennae, an exception is Agrotis porphyricollis. Markings can be quite variable, this is an attractively marked individual. (Noctuinae)

Finally in this collection of autumn flying moths, a Hepialid, Oxycanus dirempta. It refused to leave the floor so was encouraged to cling to a piece of bark.

The Variable Oxycanus.

More pictures here, Click to enlarge.

References and further reading,
Moths of Victoria, Volumes 5 and 6.

Garden Moths, May.

With rough weather forecast, a trip up into the foothills to sample late autumn moths was postponed, and the light was set up in the shelter of the workshop, beaming out into the garden. It wasn’t long before the first moth arrived, a female Stibaroma sp. (1) (MOV) this individual is showing considerable white patching on the fore-wings. (Ennominae, Nacophorini)

Some time later a typical male arrived and settled on the concrete.

A very pale moth flew in and landed on a leaf out in the grass, it is a very pale, plain, male Lemon Gum Moth, Plesanemma fucata. (Ennominae, Nacophorini)

It refused to be transferred to the sheet so was photographed on the floor.

Moths were relatively scarce, no more of any size came in but there was interest in the smaller varieties.

The Golden Grass Carpet, Anachloris subochraria, female. (Larentiinae)

The Insigillated Carpet, Chloroclystis insigillata, (Larentiinae) Only the male has the shoulder plumes seen in this image.

Two Crambids, a very dark Tree Lucerne Moth, Uresiphita ornithopteralis.

And a Cabbage Centre Moth, Hellula hydralis.

Previous Victorian records of the Sharp-angled Carpet, Chrysolarentia actinipha, (Larentiinae) were from south and central Victoria west of Melbourne. It was a big surprise to have one come to the light from the garden here in Central Gippsland, thereby extending the known range considerably. MOV 3 notes that this is a dry country species, also present in South Australia and New South Wales. It would be interesting to know if the drying of the climate here over the last two decades has had any bearing on this species’ apparent movement east in Victoria.

All moths from the night can be seen here.


Click to enlarge.

References and further reading,
Moths of Victoria Volumes 3 and 5.