Wednesday 26 April 2017

re-visiting an Un-identified GELECHIOIDEA moth

On Wednesday, 5 October 2016, I did a blog on a moth that I was not able to identify at the time. A kind reader has been able to identify the moth as Petalanthes hexastera which is in subfamily OECOPHORINAE, family OECOPHORIDAE.


Genus:- Petalanthes
Species:- hexastera

 Unfortunately I was not able to find any information on its biology or its larval food plants. The wing span is quoted as being anything from 6mm to 10mm. I think my version was somewhere between those sizes closer to 8mm. It was a fast flier and hard to photograph. Some of the photographs with wings folded were taken in an "aquarium" which consists of two lens filters screwed together.
This is a useful tool and allows me to get a photo and then release the moth. We have one moth here that is able to actually fly in that restricted space (see the next entry below).

More photos on the blog 5th October 2016

Thanks to Nick, who has some great photos on "Flickr" under the name "Dustaway".

Erechthias citrinopa ERECHTHIINAE TINEIDAE

 Synonym:- Comodica citrinopa
As I said above, these moths are tiny. They are breeding on a grafted Brachychiton Sp. ormeau in our yard and in spring they form brilliant clouds of golden moths in the early morning sunlight as they go through their mating dance. The larvae may be responsible for destroying the leaves on the tree, leaving the leaves brown and curled or they may only be after the honeydew. The tree is often also infested with thrips and leaf hoppers and a number of other insects. The tree eventually drops its old leaves and produces a whole new lot of leaves.

 Erechthias citrinopa ERECHTHIINAE TINEIDAE

Family:-  TINEIDAE
Genus:- Erechthias 
Species:- citrinopa

See also the blog Wednesday, 30 September 2015 on the insects in this Brachychiton tree.


Wednesday 19 April 2017


Crocanthes Poss glycina Sp LECITHOCERIDAE

Genus:- Crocanthes
Species:- glycina Sp (possibly)

Crocanthes prasinopis LECITHOCERIDAE

Genus:- Crocanthes
Species:- prasinopis

Larval food is moist dead leaves of  Eucalyptus forests.

Protolychnis trigonias LECITHOCERIDAE

Genus:- Protolychnis
Species:- trigonias (possibly)

LECITHOCERIDAE Poss Lecithocera Sp

Genus:- Lecithocera (possibly)
Species:- Sp

This is quite an old moth and many of the identifying scales are worn off.

Lecithocera Poss imprudens LECITHOCERIDAE

Genus:- Lecithocera
Species:- imprudens (possibly)


Wednesday 12 April 2017


Pinara probably divisa sp Fem LASIOCAMPINAE LASIOCAMPIDAE

Although there are a couple of similar species I believe that P. divisa is correct.
The larval food plant is Eucalyptus.
Although they will come to light they generally don't. Females fly at night depositing eggs. Males quite often fly during the day.
This one is a female, the males are quite different in colour and pattern.

Genus:-  Pinara
Species:- divisa (probably)



 Pararguda crenulata or Pararguda rufescens
There is a comment on iNaturalist.org (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2892507) commenting on a similar photo on that site.
"Based on BOLD, I think you are correct. However, I note that (in contrast to the BOLD specimens) Moths of  Victoria assigned its Pararguda with this general appearance and crenulate termen to P. rufescens, and gave the range of that species as "Queensland to WA and Tasmania". That's probably the most official version that exists at the moment and implies that they treat P. crenulata as a later (1894) synonym for P. rufescens (1855)".

Genus:-  Pararguda
Species:-  crenulata (probably)


Wednesday 5 April 2017

Lactura panopsia LACTURIDAE

Lactura panopsia LACTURIDAE   

EDITED May 29 2017, this post originally  used the genus Eustixis but the correct genus is  now Lactura

  Lactura panopsia LACTURIDAE was previously called Lactura panopsia and some of the internet sites still use this name.
The super family of Lactura panopsia is ZYGAENOIDEA. Also see the notes below on all the variations of the Family of this moth.
This moth has a range from the Bunya Mountains in Queensland to Kiama, south of Woolongong on the New South Wales coast. They are a tropical or sub tropical species so are more likely to be found near the coast. The Bunya Mountains, just to the West of us, has some rainforest, and often have unusual species for the inland.


Sub Family:- LACTURA
Genus:- Lactura 
Species:- panopsia


One interesting mention in Moths of Australia (Common 1990), is that the moths are "probably distasteful to vertebrate predators and, as they are extremely resistant to cyanide in killing bottles, may well be able to produce cyanide as part of of their defence, as do certain European species of Zygaena".

The reference to the killing bottles, is that the author, Dr. I.F.B Common, was an entomologist, and when collecting moths they would use bottles with a small amount of cyanide (deadly poisonous for humans too) mixed with vermiculite then covered with a layer of freshly mixed plaster of Paris which was then allowed to set and a pad of moistened tissue on top.
The idea is that it would kill the moths quickly with minimal damage, to later be pinned out.

I would like to point out that this is not a process I use. I do not collect the insects and do not deliberately kill them. For the most part they are photographed live on the windows at night or around the property by day and, only for the odd occasion, I will catch them and put them in an aquarium for a short time to be photographed then released.

Below is an assortment of the listing for Eustixis panopsia on various sites.
Bold systems
Sub Family:- LACTURA
Genus:- Eustixis 
Species:- panopsia

Encyclopedia of life
Super family ZYGAENOIDEA
Sub Family:-
Genus:- Eustixis 
Species:- panopsia

Atlas of living Australia
Genus  Eustixis
Species  Eustixis panopsia

Natural history museum global index brings up two references:-
PANOPSIA     Turner      1913      LOXOSTEGE      Pyraloidea      Crambidae
panopsia     Turner      1927      LACTURA      Zygaenoidea      Lacturidae

Lactura panopsia Turner 1927 [species] (this is also the name used in Moths of Australia, Common 1990)

A Guide to Australian Moths (ZBorowski and Edwards 2007) also places the genus in Lacturidae

Bowerbird have it placed in Yponomeutidae, and yet are quoted in another site as placing it in Lacturidae.

Australian Faunal Directory
Species     Eustixis panopsia (Turner, 1926)     Generic Combination of Lactura panopsia Turner, 1926     Family LACTURIDAE

Confusing isn't it!
EDITED May 29 2017,  The genus is now Lactura