Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Declining insect numbers


First item this week is an article on the link below. It is another article pointing out the problems that our moths and other insects are having surviving in the current climate across Australia, and the associated food shortage and decline of the animals that use the insects as a food source.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-02-27/bogong-moth-decline-in-australian-alps/10850036

I have mentioned on this Blog a number of times, the dramatic drop in the total number of moths we get at night on the windows.
I know there will be many factors including our current drought, but it is the longer term reduction in insect numbers over a 30 year period that is the real worry.
The loss of certain species can be accounted for by habitat loss and changes in the plant species in the
immediate environment, but there appear to be other factors at work.

Drop in insect numbers have been noted over large parts of Australia and Europe. The evidence world wide is mostly by observation rather than formal research, except in Germany where there has been some long term research done showing a 75% drop in total flying insect biomass in protected areas over 27 years.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185809
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/10/why-are-insects-in-decline-and-can-we-do-anything-about-it

These links are deliberately not "click on" links. You can either paste the link into your browser or search out the web sites via normal search methods.

I wonder how many other countries are suffering the same problems with their insects.



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Faveria laiasalis PHYCITINAE PYRALIDAE


This moth is likely to be a grass moth, and we have noticed a drop in these moths that can be directly
attributed to the type and quantity of uncut grasses in the area and the increase in imported grasses taking over from native grasses.
I was not able to find anything specific on its biology.





Family:- PYRALIDAE
Sub Family:- PHYCITINAE
Genus:- Faveria 
Species:- laiasalis











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 Ephestiopsis oenobarella PHYCITINAE PYRALIDAE


Not an easy moth to identify, but it is likely to be Ephestiopsis oenobarella. The best match I was able to find was a photo on Bold systems labeled (IM11-0182) CC BY-NC-SA (2012) CBG Photography Group.
Most likely another grass moth.






Family:- PYRALIDAE
Sub Family:- PHYCITINAE
Genus:- Ephestiopsis
Species:- oenobarella










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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Scenedra decoratalis

Scenedra decoratalis PYRALINAE PYRALIDAE

I have not been able to find anything about its biology.
I have included a cross section of the variations we see in the appearance of this moth.



Family:- PYRALIDAE
Sub Family:- PYRALINAE
Genus:- Scenedra
Species:- decoratalis 



Click on the photos for a larger view.

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Scoparia exhibitalis SCOPARIINAE CRAMBIDAE

Although I originally placed in this moth in PYRALIDAE, I find it now is in CRAMBIDAE. I am not sure if I made a mistake or that over the years the designation has changed.

The members of the sub family SCOPARIINAE are generally said to be moss eaters, often found in moss and lichen. I have no specific information for this particular species.

They are reasonably common in southern Australia. It sometimes surprises people to find that we, at around 27.5 degrees south, as is Brisbane, are in the southern half of Australia.



Family:- CRAMBIDAE
Sub Family:- SCOPARIINAE
Genus:- Scoparia
Species:- exhibitalis












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Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Morosaphycita oculiferella

Morosaphycita oculiferella PHYCITINAE PYRALIDAE

Wingspan about 20mm.
I couldn't find anything on its biology.





Family:- PYRALIDAE
Sub Family:- PHYCITINAE
Genus:- Morosaphycita
Species:- oculiferella











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Endotricha mesenterialis PYRALINAE PYRALIDAE

I was not able to find the larval food plant for Australia, but in Malaysia, the family Dipterocarpaceae seems to be the main source. The next level up the botanical tree is the order Malvales and the larval food plants are probably going be in that group.
A plant in the family Guttiferae is also mentioned as a host in West Malaysia.
Wingspan is about 10mm.



Family:- PYRALIDAE
Sub Family:- PYRALINAE
Genus:- Endotricha 
Species:- mesenterialis






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Tuesday, 5 February 2019

 Mimaglossa nauplialis

Mimaglossa nauplialis EPIPASCHIINAE PYRALIDAE 

As can be seen from the photo, the moth is about 18mm long so a wing span of about 30mm.
I was not able to find any thing of its biology.




Family:- PYRALIDAE
Sub Family:- EPIPASCHIINAE
Genus:- Mimaglossa
Species:- nauplialis













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Ocrasa albidalis PYRALINAE PYRALIDAE

The larval food is the dead leaves of Eucalyptus trees, MYRTACEAE. The leaves are sometimes bound together with silk, with several larvae together in the space between. They skeletonising dead leaves, eating the surface of the leaf and leaving the veins.

Some of the adults have two strong horizontal lines on the fore wings and others have little or no markings.

They can also have a dark spot near the leading edge of the fore wing about half way along or a little further.






Family:- PYRALIDAE
Sub Family:- PYRALINAE
Genus:- Ocrasa
Species:- albidalis



















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