Wednesday 27 September 2017

The eyes have it

I have previously done a blog on Speiredonia spectans, but here I have added a similar moth for comparison. Both moths are very common here and are fairly easy to confuse.

Speiredonia spectans EREBINAE EREBIDAE

Was:- Speiredonia spectans CATOCALINAE NOCTUIDAE
Common name:- Granny's Cloak Moth

Part of the description of this moth in Moths of Australia (IFB Common, 1990), is that the wings of both Speiredonia and Dasypodia sometimes have eyes pots on the forewing and sometimes both wings. The main word here is "sometimes" , which means they sometimes don't have eye spots. Looking up photos of S. spectans on the BOLD Systems site, they do indeed have two photos of S. spectans with few markings on the wings and no eye spots.
Various sites quote the larval food plant as Acacia, (MIMOSACEAE), and one site as Acacia and Drypetes deplanchei, (EUPHORBIACEAE). In our case we have both plants and indeed, we do get a lot of these moths.

Family:-  EREBIDAE
Sub Family:- EREBINAE
Genus:- Speiredonia
Species:- spectans

 I wrote a blog about Speiredonia spectans on Wednesday, 8 July 2015 on the subject of the changing colours of the wing scales.
The wing span about 80mm.


Dasypodia cymatodes EREBINAE EREBIDAE

Was :- Dasypodia cymatodes CATOCALINAE NOCTUIDAE

Dasypodia cymatodes, the common name is "Northern Old Lady Moth" which I am sure is in retaliation to the common name of Speiredonia spectans which is "Granny's Cloak Moth".
The larval food plant is also likely to be Acacia species.
The wing span is also about 80mm.

Family:-  EREBIDAE
Sub Family:- EREBINAE
Genus:- Dasypodia
Species:- cymatodes


Wednesday 20 September 2017

Genduara punctigera


Another new moth. They are coming thick and fast this year. This one is said to breed on  Exocarpos cupressiformis, (SANTALACEAE), common name "Native Cherry". Exocarpos cupressiformis are partly parasitic on the roots of plants around them, and are not choosy. They are said to be able to use grasses, Eucalypts, wattles, Casuarinas, Banksias, Grevilleas, and plants in the pea family. As far as I know we do not have any E. cupressiformis here but we do have other species of SANTALACEAE.
The larvae of other members of the Genduara genus have been found feeding on mistletoes (LORANTHACEAE), and other members of  Exocarpos, so it is possible that the larvae of G. punctigera are able to live on some of these other plants.
The common name of the moth is "Spotted Clear Winged Snout Moth", because the males often have nearly transparent wings. 

Genus:- Genduara
Species:- punctigera

Further information on the host plants can be obtained from the Toowoomba Plants site link in the right hand column of this blog and searching for the plant family names.


Hypena (Probably) laceratalis HYPENINAE EREBIDAE

Was:- Hypena laceratalis HYPENINAE NOCTUIDAE

The larval food plant is  Lantana ( Lantana camara, VERBENACEAE ). There have been many attempts to introduce insects that will eat the pest plant Lantana. A strain of H. laceratalis was introduced to Hawaii, Norfolk Island and Queensland in an attempt to control the weed.
There have been a number of attempts to introduce moths to Australia to control Lantana, in 1914, 1957, 1958 and 1965, but they appear to have had little or no effect in controlling the spread of the plant.

Sub Family:- HYPENINAE
Genus:- Hypena
Species:- laceratalis (Probably)


Wednesday 13 September 2017

Thallarcha Species

Thallarcha species ARCTIINAE EREBIDAE

This moth is not in perfect condition. The two possible species are likely to be Thallarcha rhaptophora (Desert Footman), which is generally found in South Australia and Western Australia, which makes it unlikely that it is here, and Thallarcha fusa which is quite common here but the wing patterns not a very good match with my sample.
The weather around the time I took the photo, has included very strong, dry winds from the west, for days on end, so there is still a chance that this moth may be T. rhaptophora blown in from somewhere in the western deserts.

Sub Family:- ARCTIINAE
Genus:- Thallarcha
Species:- Sp (Possibly Fusa or rhaptophora)

I did a blog on some other Thallarcha species moths on 23 March 2016
Thallarcha macilenta LITHOSIINAE ARCTIIDAE Wednesday, 23 March 2016
Thallarcha Sp Poss sparsana LITHOSIINAE ARCTIIDAE Wednesday, 23 March 2016


Mataeomera Species

These two took some work to find names for them, even then I am really only sure to Genus.
I could not find out much about the biology either of them.
There are a couple of sites placing these moths in Erebidae family.

Genus:- Mataeomera
Species:- Possibly ligata

Genus:- Mataeomera
Species:- Possibly dubia


Wednesday 6 September 2017

 Sandava scitisignata

Sandava scitisignata HYPENINAE EREBIDAE

Was:- Sandava scitisignata HYPENINAE NOCTUIDAE
 These Caterpillars have been found under loose bark on tree trunks, and appear to eat fungi on dead trees.
They have a wingspan of about 20mm. Male and female moths are similar, but the antennae of the males are thicker than those of the females.

Sub Family:- HYPENINAE
Genus:- Sandava
Species:- scitisignata

These are both the same species taken at different times, and both have lost a number of scales so I added both photos for better detail.

Synonyms listed :-
Cidaria scitisignata Walker, 1862
Sandava melaleucata Walker, [1863]
Istarba varialis Walker, [1866].




This is another new moth for us.

The larval food is Eucalyptus leaves. They pupate under loose bark on the trunk.
Many Lymantriinae larvae in their early instar can spin long strands of silk that are then caught by the wind and so allows them to disperse away from the tree they hatched on. This is necessary, because the females are not able to fly and are therefore not able to deposit eggs in a variety of sites for diversification.

Genus:- Iropoca
Species:- rotundata

I found there are 2 possible synonyms :-
    Teara rotundata Walker, 1855
    Anthela sydneyensis Strand, 1929