Friday, 24 January 2020

Summary of 2019.

2019 was not been a good year from a moth point of view. Continuing local drought conditions on top of reduced numbers of insects generally.
Locally we have had a particularly dry period coming into summer, which is normally our wet season. The flush of growth from early rain really didn't happen and the few caterpillars that hatched would have had a hard time surviving the lack of fresh growth.
Bird numbers are also down, particularly the aggressive Noisy Minor (Manorina melanocephala), which rely on insects for breeding. They are one of the bird species that cooperate in families to feed offspring, and we have seen very few young birds.
The year finished off with one of the worst bush fire seasons for this area, and we are now at the end of January and have only had about 65mm of rain. February, hopefully, will be a little better.

Despite this we are getting a few moths appearing, still in very low numbers but fresh new season moths. In a couple of cases, the sizes are much smaller than usual. This can happen in butterflies too in particularly dry times, and they seem to go on to breed normally.

It remains to be seen how long it takes for insect numbers to recover. A lot will depend on the quantity and timing of rainfall over the next few years. The timing is important, late rain will not see the moths reproduce before winter.

On the other hand, our pond has been working overtime this year with five species of dragonfly and two damselfly species using the pond for breeding.
January 2020.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

 Last post for the year

This is the last post for the year.
Thanks to all the people who have been watching this blog and the few who have contributed information and comments.
To those who celebrate Christmas, I wish you all a happy peaceful Christmas and New Year.


The life in the light

Ever taken a close look at the "dust" that collects in a light shade?
These photos are of some of the tiny creatures that find their way into a ceiling light.
Many of them are leaf hoppers, and other tiny insects but there are a few moths as well. The challenge is to get a good enough photo for identification.
I have marked a couple of moths and I think they will be in the super family GELECHIOIDEA and possibly family OECOPHORIDAE.
Click on the photos for a larger view.


Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Pherechoa crypsichlora

 Pherechoa crypsichlora HYPENINAE EREBIDAE

I originally posted this one as :-

 Nola Sp NOLINAE NOLIDAE 1864 on - 0793

A reader, Vic, has been able to help with an identification. See the comments at the bottom.

The current name according to Bold systems is :-
 Pherechoa crypsichlora HYPENINAE EREBIDAE

I so far have not been able to find anything on it's biology.

Sub Family:- HYPENINAE
Genus:- Pherechoa
Species:- crypsichlora


Thursday, 28 November 2019

Cenochlora quieta


This is another one that has sat around for some years. Like many of the Emeralds, it is difficult to separate the species especially when there are a number of photos identified as a certain species but differ from the identified species on a site like Bold Systems.
It is all a bit of a guessing game really.
However I do think this one is Cenochlora quieta.
Distribution of samples taken is fairly small including our area here near Toowoomba and a little to the North and East of our location and one instance on the North Coast of New South Wales.
Wing span about 20mm (judging from the flyscreen).
I found no information on the biology of this moth.

Genus:- Cenochlora
Species:- quieta


Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Herpetogramma Sp

Herpetogramma (Possibly licarsisalis) SPILOMELINAE CRAMBIDAE

Although very similar to the  Nacoleia Species moths, I think the deeper clefts in the fore wing markings and the more prominant labial palps suggests it is more likely to be Herpetogramma Sp., possibly H. licarsisalis.
I am not completely confident of this ID, so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

Genus:- Herpetogramma
Species:- Sp  (possibly licarsisalis)


Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Ophyx ochroptera

Ophyx ochroptera CALPINAE EREBIDAE

This photo sat around in a group of photos I had failed to process since January 2017!
It is a rainforest species usually, and one of the possible larval food plants here is our Morton Bay Fig trees (Ficus macrophylla, MORACEAE).
We have 2 in the yard.
Wing span I think was about 50mm.

Sub Family:- CALPINAE
Genus:- Ophyx
Species:- ochroptera