Thursday, 21 June 2018

Updated posts:-

Ozarba chrysaspis and Ozarba punctigera Wednesday, 28 March 2018, Updated 22/6/18
A likely larval food plant added.

A faster internet  connection has made available sites that were not previously producing results.


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Armactica columbina


Was:- Armactica columbina CHLOEPHORINAE NOLIDAE

I thought I had finished with the Noctuid moths for the time being, but it seems that a number of what used to be Nolidae moths are now in other families. In this case the Armactica seem to have been moved twice since I took the original photos of these moths. The various sites on the internet and my books are all over the place with the placement of these moths. As usual, I will stick to the placement as used on BOLD systems web site.

With the light at the right angle, this is a quite spectacular moth as you can see in the photo with the wings spread.

Genus:-  Armactica
Species:- columbina

Although the larvae are said to have been found on Cordia subcordata, in the  family Boraginaceae, (the borage and forget-me-not family), and includes other shrubs, trees, and herbs, this is not a local native plant here.

Boraginaceae plants in general, are not common here, and the only one we have in that family is heliotrope (Heliotropium spp.). It is an introduced weed that is now very common, having been introduced as yet another garden plant and has escaped into the wild.
Wingspan of this moth is about 40mm. The grid in the fly screen is about 2mm.


 Armactica conchidia BAGISARINAE NOCTUIDAE

Was:- Armactica conchidia CHLOEPHORINAE NOLIDAE

This moth is sexually dimorphic. The female has the dark triangle on the fore wing.
There are a couple of instances on the internet that appear to have the male and female identification back to front.
This moth also seems to have quite a number of synonyms, but since I could not find any real information under the various names there is not much point in including them here.
I was not able to find the larval food plants.
This moth is said to be more common in the drier inland than on the coastal areas.
Wing span about 30mm


Genus:- Armactica
Species:- conchidia 

This one is a male.

The moths to the left and below are females.
Although the photo with open wings is rather blurred, it still gives a good idea of the rear wing colouring.

We get a bit of variation in the fore wing colouring from darker grey to light grey.


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Grammodes diagarmma

Grammodes diagarmma EREBINAE EREBIDAE

 I would like to thank another moth hunter,  Nick ("dustaway" on Flickr), for identifying this moth.
The moths have been recorded in Australia at Kalpowar near Monto in Queensland, at Dandabah in the Bunya Mountains Queensland, and Mackay in Queensland and Derby in Western Australia and, of course, now here in Toowoomba Queensland.

Although I could not find anything definite about the larval food plants, moths from the genus Grammodes in Australia, apparently are frequently found on plants in the family EUPHORBIACEAE.
It is therefore possible that larvae of Grammodes diagarmma may also be found on these plants. We do have some of these plants.

Sub Family:- EREBINAE
Genus:-  Grammodes
Species:- diagarmma

You will notice the fore wing pattern is very similar to moths in the genus Achaea, particularly A.janata.
See blog entries:-
Achaea janata EREBINAE EREBIDAE Wednesday, 21 Jun 2017
Achaea serva EREBINAE EREBIDAE Wednesday, 21 Jun 2017
Also the genera Dysgonia and Ophiusa and to some extent Parallelia, which is in the Tribe Poaphilini (Erebidae, Erebinae). Dysgonia and Ophiusa belong to the Tribe Ophiusini in the subfamily Erebinae in the Erebidae family.
The larval food plants of all these moths tend to be similar but will vary depending on their location. Many of these moths are spread world wide.

Other Grammodes moths on the blog:-
Grammodes justa CATOCALINAE NOCTUIDAE Wednesday, 1 July 2015
Grammodes ocellata CATOCALINAE NOCTUIDAE Wednesday, 1 July 2015
Grammodes pulcherrima CATOCALINAE NOCTUIDAE Wednesday, 1 July 2015

That concludes the moths from Noctuidae and Erebidae for the time being. I will revisit them later when I have gone through the rest of the families. DG.

Acatapaustus leucospila NOLINAE NOLIDAE

I was not able to find anything on this moths biology, however, the larval food plant for a member of the genus Acatapaustus, in New Guinea, is Eucalyptus deglupta, Myrtaceae.
It is likely that one of the Eucalypts may also be the larval food plant for A. leucospila.

Family:- NOLIDAE
Sub Family:- NOLINAE
Genus:- Acatapaustus
Species:- leucospila


Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Tiracola plagiata 

Tiracola plagiata NOCTUINAE NOCTUIDAE 

A very common pest internationally on a large variety of plants.
Here are the ones most likely on our place.
Red Cedar ( Toona australis, MELIACEAE ),
Banana ( Musa acuminata, MUSACEAE ),
Gum Tree young growth ( Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE ),
Wing span about 50mm.

Sub Family:- NOCTUINAE
Genus:- Tiracola
Species:- plagiata

The colour of the adult moth can vary from light to dark.



One site quotes a very similar species, Zalissa pratti, as a synonym while another includes it as a sub species, Zalissa catocalina pratti.
The larvae are said to feed on grape vines but when I chased down the source quoted I could find no reference to them feeding on grape vines.

They are another moth that often lands with its wings upright.

Genus:- Zalissa
Species:- catocalina


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Spodoptera litura


Was:- Spodoptera litura AMPHIPYRINAE NOCTUIDAE

Both these photos are of males. The light blue stripe near the end of the fore wing is the indicator.
None of the photos I have taken on our property are of females. They are certain to be here, but I
have never managed to photographed them.
The caterpillars are an agricultural pest both here and overseas, and will eat nearly any leafy
plant, as well as mosses and ferns.

Sub Family:- NOCTUINAE
Genus:-  Spodoptera
Species:- litura



Tathorhynchus fallax TOXOCAMPINAE EREBIDAE

Was:- Tathorhynchus fallax CATOCALINAE NOCTUIDAE
Some sites are still using CATOCALINAE  as the sub family in the family EREBIDAE, but BOLD systems uses the sub family TOXOCAMPINAE, family EREBIDAE. I have been sticking to the BOLD systems identification.

When I first identifies this moth as Tathorhynchus fallax, I found there was a lot of confusion about
its name. One site was quoting a synonym of T. exsiccata. This now seems to have settled, and T.
appears to be a separate species in Africa and America and Tathorhynchus fallax is the one
we get here. The book Moths of Australia (I.F.B. Common 1990) places Tathorhynchus fallax as a
subspecies of T. exsiccata.

The larval food plant in America is Lucern, also known as Alfalfa (Medicago sativa, FABACEAE), but according to Moths of Australia (I.F.B. Common 1990) the food plant in Australia has not been
recorded and I was unable to find any definite information.

Genus:-  Tathorhynchus
Species:- fallax


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

 Back to moths

After a short break I am back to sorting moths again.
I often complain about the lack of rain in our area, but after a trip through the outback regions of South Australia I really can't complain.  Areas of western New South Wales and out back regions of South Australia are in extreme drought.

In many areas we visited, large numbers of wild bees, (these are escaped European honey bees), are searching for water. Swarms of them surround you if any water is left out. The European bees are displacing the native bees in the wild.
Then there are the bush flies!! In their thousands.

It only takes about 5 minutes to go from the first photo to the second.


Rusicada revocans

Rusicada revocans CALPINAE EREBIDAE

The larval food plants for this moth are mainly plants in the MALVACEAE and STERCULIACEAE families. In our case we have one plant, Yellow Trumpet Mallow, (Abutilon tubulosum, Family: MALVACEAE) right outside our lounge room window.

We also have another plant  Native Hibiscus, (Hibiscus eterophyllus Family: MALVACEAE), in a number of places in the yard. Photos of these plants are on the blog and search for MALVACEAE and STERCULIACEAE.
The moth is also sometimes a fruit piercing moth and is therefore an agricultural pest.

Sub Family:- CALPINAE
Genus:-  Rusicada
Species:- revocans


Rhapsa suscitatalis

 Rhapsa suscitatalis EREBINAE EREBIDAE
I was not able to find anything much about these moths and their biology.
Although the moth is usually seen with its labial palps pointed forward, it is also possible for them to fold the labial palps back to in front of the head.

Sub Family:-  EREBINAE
Genus:- Rhapsa
Species:- suscitatalis


Wednesday, 25 April 2018



Genus:- Proteuxoa
Species:- flexirena



 Proteuxoa Poss tortisigna AMPHIPYRINAE NOCTUIDAE

 Below are two very similar moths. They may be the same species, it is too difficult to be sure. There are some definite differences in the dark areas at the end of the fore wings, but I think this is pretty slim evidence to base a positive ID on. The names I have provided may give a clue as to where to look if you are trying to identify a similar moth.

In fact I think there are really only the two moths that they are likely to be, P. paragypsa and P. tortisigna. If you take into account that the only areas that P. paragypsa have been collected are south of Sydney, that puts a fairly strong case for both of these moths to be P. tortisigna.

Genus:- Proteuxoa
Species:- Sp Probably tortisigna

Genus:- Proteuxoa
Species:- Sp Possibly either paragypsa or tortisigna