Feed on

Garden Moths January.

Following the discovery of the moth in the previous post, the light was rigged in the garden in the hope of attracting a male for identification purposes. That did not eventuate, however there was another surprise. Previous mothing sessions have been held in she oak country with the objective of photographing two Lasiocampid species whose larvae feed on the foliage, Porela vitulina, and Pernattia pusilla. Those efforts also came to naught, although one spectacular Pernattia larva was found and duly recorded.

Back to the light in the garden, and the first moth in was the surprise mentioned, a very nicely marked male Pernattia pusilla.

The garden has two she oaks, Allocasuarina torulosa and A. littoralis, the nearest wild population of the latter being  4.6 K away on a back country lane. It will be interesting to see if a population becomes established.

Emeralds often come to the light quite worn, not so this (Prasinocyma) semicrocea (Geometrinae) in pristine condition.

Some species of Discophlebia, (Oenosandridae)  can be similar in appearance when seen with wings closed. The distinctive hind wings of D. catocalina are a distinguishing feature.

Stericta carbonalis, (Pyralidae) is plain, but of interest are the palps that curve back over the head.

Timber moths, (Xylorictidae) are not uncommon in the garden, the small Tymbophora peltastis is the sole member of its genus. The sickle shaped up-curved palpi are typical of the family, the larvae feed on eucalypt foliage.

And to conclude, an attractive small Tortricid, Meritastis species.

Click to enlarge.



As Yet Unknown.

While watering the garden a small creature, about 6.5 mm long  was noticed trying to escape the water spray by hiding under the pine bark mulch, and something about it warranted a closer look. It was happy to cling to a finger while being taken inside to the camera, and inspection of the photos taken on the cork mouse pad showed it to be a moth, the fat body suggesting it was a female carrying a batch of eggs. An interesting feature of this moth, seen in the images below, is the abbreviated wings. Female moths of a number of species are wingless or have vestigial wings and are flightless, consequently their lives are earthbound. Another interesting feature observed was its ability to hop a surprising distance. When released back into the garden it jumped nearly 30 centimetres down into the mulch where it quickly disappeared. A possibility is that this moth’s wings failed to develop properly, but its behaviour suggests that it is a flightless female of a species yet to be determined.

Click to enlarge.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »