Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Melanodes anthracitaria

Melanodes anthracitaria ENNOMINAE GEOMETRIDAE

Although I put a post about this moth on the Blog on Wednesday, 30 November 2016, I recently took a photo of the two tone version.
Still the same moth with different markings. The white / yellow markings are not rare but the moths are generally the dark form.
The larval food plant is probably Eucalyptus species.

Sub Family:- ENNOMINAE
Genus:- Melanodes
Species:- anthracitaria


Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Nephele subvaria


I must have missed this photo on the first run through.
These are a large moth common down the east coast to Sydney.
The likely larval food plant here is Carissa ovata (APOCYNACEAE).
 They don't always have the white spot on the wings.
The hind wings are brown.

Further information on the plant can be found at:-


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.

Note:- A couple of hours after I wrote this blog we got another 40mm in 20 minutes in a thunder storm. Much of the water ran off  because the ground is so dry but it all helps.

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