Wednesday 18 November 2020

 Pseudozarba orthopetes

Pseudozarba orthopetes EUSTROTIINAE NOCTUIDAE

The only reference to I can find on the biology is under the previous genus Eublemma.
Some members of the Pseudozarba (Eublemma) genus are predators of scale insects, while others feed on plants, (Moths of Australia, Common 1990).
The wing span was probably about 20mm.



Genus:-  Pseudozarba
Species:- orthopetes






  It has been quite a while since I have found a new moth to put on this Blog.
Although we are getting a few moths coming to the house lights at night, the numbers are a long way down on the years before this recent dry period. We are still in drought conditions although some areas around us have had storms, we have only had limited rain fall.


Wednesday 14 October 2020

 Tigrioides alterna


I originally put this moth on the Blog on Wednesday, 23 March 2016, but I thought it worth putting it on again since I now have better photos.
I am still not able to find anything on the biology of these moths.

Genus:- Tigrioides
Species:- alterna


Saturday 26 September 2020

  Thallarcha staurocola

Thallarcha staurocola ARCTIINAE EREBIDAE

A common name for this moth is the "Patched Footman". There are other similar moths in the Anestia genus that are also called "Footman". There is a difference, between those two in that the females of the Anestia genus are flightless while Thallarcha females have functioning wings.
There are also a number of other moths from other genera also called "Footman".

The males of T. staurocola usually have bipectinate antenae, so this moth is probably a female.
I don't have any information on the larval food.
Wing span about 20mm.


 Family:- EREBIDAE
Sub Family:- ARCTIINAE
Genus:- Thallarcha
Species:- staurocola










Friday 21 August 2020

  Parosteodes fictiliaria

Parosteodes fictiliaria ENNOMINAE  GEOMETRIDAE

There is quite a lot of variability in the wing patterns of these moths, also between Males and Females.
Wing span is a little over 20mm
Larval food plants are the Hop Bushes, Dodonaea species, (SAPINDACEAE). We have Dodonaea viscosa here, so that is probably what it is breeding on.




Sub Family:- ENNOMINAE
Genus:-  Parosteodes
Species:- fictiliaria













Monday 10 August 2020

 Aproaerema simplexella


In Moths of Australia (Common 1990), the moth is called Stomopteryx simplexella. The preferred name now appears to be Aproaerema simplexella.
The larval food plants include Cullen patens and Cullen tenax (FAMILY: FABACEAE), previously named Psoralea tenax and P. patens. They will also eat Clover and Soybean and other legumes.
Cullen patens and Cullen tenax are not uncommon roadside plants in this area as is Clover.

Cullen patens, Cullen tenax  are both perennial plants, with flowers in two shades of pink.
They are good for native pastures because of their palatability to stock and they are hosts for several butterfly species as well. This includes several kinds of small blue butterflies, and the large and showy Chequered Swallowtails.

Wing span is about 10mm.

Genus:- Aproaerema
Species:- simplexella


Tuesday 4 August 2020

Barea phaeomochla BAREA GROUP


I am never sure with the Barea group identifications. Although this one seems to be a good match, the
areas where samples have been taken are a long way south of here.
This can also be because nobody has bothered to look in this area.

After all how many people really run round looking for tiny moths with about a 10mm wingspan!
I have no information on food plants, but a lot of OECOPHORIDAE feed on Eucalypts either on the tree or on the ground under the tree.

Genus:- Barea
Species:- phaeomochla (Possibly)

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Yponomeuta pustulellus


The larval food plant on our block is probably:-
Red Olive-Plum Elaeodendron australe var. integrifolium (CELASTRACEAE)
Synonym Cassine australis var. angustifolia (CELASTRACEAE)

Wing span about 20mm.


Friday 3 July 2020

Hypomecis penthearia

Selidosema penthearia

Hypomecis penthearia ENNOMINAE GEOMETRIDAE

Another moth with several competing names.
This moth is listed in some sites as Selidosema penthearia, in other sites as Hypomecis penthearia, and is also listed as Isturgia penthearia.
A very recent book that I have mentioned on this Blog before,"Caterpillars, Moths and their 
Plants of Southern Australia
" published in 2019 by the Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., lists it under "Penthearia moth, Isturgia penthearia".

It would seem that the genus Selidosema is possibly the latest name, but on Bold Systems, which
has separate pages for Selidosema and Hypomecis, there is a better collection of photos under the
genus Hypomecis.
This sometimes happens in plant names when the are doubts about validity of the new name.

In order to be consistent I will, for the time being, stick to the main listing on Bold systems which has the better collection of photos.

Wing span is about 30mm.
Larval food plants are Wattles (Acacia).

Sub Family:- ENNOMINAE
Genus:- Hypomecis 
Species:- penthearia


Wednesday 24 June 2020

Oxyodes tricolor

Oxyodes tricolor EREBINAE EREBIDAE

I originally put Oxyodes tricolor on this blog on Wednesday, 14 March 2018, but I now have a few other samples of the different colours they can come in.

The most likely larval food plants here, are in the SAPINDACEAE, SOLANACEAE and STERCULIACEAE families. The the local Brachychitons, (STERCULIACEAE), may also be a food plants.

Wing span about 40mm.

Sub Family:- EREBINAE
Genus:- Oxyodes
Species:- tricolor


Wednesday 17 June 2020

Dysallacta Sp


This moth doesn't appear to have a species name yet. The distribution maps on Bold systems and ALA only approximate the coverage of the moth.

Samples have been taken or noted  at the Bunya Mountains and Toowoomba in Qld, Tapin Tops NP south west of  Port Macquarie in NSW, Lismore north eastern NSW, Scenic Rim SEQ,  Sunshine Coast SEQ, and further north up around Townsville.
I don't have anything on the biology.
I think the wingspan was about 20mm.

Genus:- Dysallacta
Species:- Sp


Wednesday 10 June 2020

Gastrinodes argoplaca

Gastrinodes argoplaca ENNOMINAE GEOMETRIDAE

One Synonym:- Selidosema argoplaca Meyrick, 1892, (http://insecta.pro/taxonomy/63641).
It is also listed as Hereroptila argoplaca in Moths of Australia (I.F.B. Common 1990), but  is no longer considered as a synonym.

In captivity the larvae have accepted Eucalyptus odorata (MYRTACEAE), also known as Peppermint box, Moths of Australia (I.F.B. Common 1990).

In a fairly new book, "Caterpillars, Moths and their plants of Southern Australia", by Peter McQuillan, Jan Forrest, David Keane and Roger Grund, the larval food plants are said to be "Eucalypts including Malley box, Eucalyptus porosa," (MYRTACEAE). It would seem they could feed on a variety of Eucalypts as well. We have some Eucalypts but no Mallee varieties here.

Wingspan is around 40mm or a little more.

Sub Family:- ENNOMINAE
Genus:-  Gastrinodes
Species:- argoplaca


Friday 5 June 2020


Hyposoter didymator ICHNEUMONIDAE

This is not a usual post for this Blog which is primarily about the moths of our property, but I feel it
may have an interesting connection to the reduction in the number of moths we have seen over the years. This cocoon was found in a reserve a little to the West of us in Toowoomba.

The black and white cocoon in the photo belongs to a Hyposoter didymator, which is a solitary wasp that parasitises the larvae of native Noctuid moths in the army worm, cutworm, cluster caterpillars and semi-looper families. Most of these moths are pests on various pasture grasses, crops, and pine seedlings in  Australia and Norfolk Island.

Deliberately introduced into Western Australia from Greece in 1983 and then introduced into Queensland and Victoria from Western Australia in 1991 to try and control the pest species mentioned.

They develop in the host larva for about 2 weeks, the larva eventually dies and the wasp emerges and
spins a silk cocoon where it pupates within 1–2 days. Females live for about 4-5 weeks after emergence, males only 2-3 weeks.

They were often bred in captivity and released in attempts at biological control of the pest species.
There are other parasitising wasp species in Australia.

The cocoon which is about 8-10mm in length is on a Warrior bush or Broom bush ( Apophyllum anomalum, CAPPARACEAE ), which is a common host plant for Caper white and Caper gull butterflies. It is therefore likely that the host larva in this case might have been a butterfly species instead of a moth species.


Wednesday 27 May 2020

Achaea janata


I previously put this one on the Blog on Wednesday, 21 June 2017.
I have added these photos because the wing markings are unusually strong and somewhat different to the normal run of A.janata seen here.

Some larval food plants are listed on the previous Blog entry as above. The list of larval food plants is extensive and they are considered a serious pest on the ones that are commercial crops.
Although we have a number of the plants here, including a common one right outside the main windows where we find them, we never have any problem with them stripping the plants.

Family:-  EREBIDAE
Sub Family:- EREBINAE
Genus:- Achaea
Species:- janata



Once again, I put this moth on the Blog on Wednesday, 22 November 2017.
I have added these photos which show the wings better.

Genus:- Helicoverpa
Species:- assulta


Saturday 23 May 2020

Pandesma submurina 

Pandesma submurina EREBINAE EREBIDAE

At first sight I dismissed this moth as another variation of the Achaea janata but the markings on the rear wing caught my attention.

I found a reference on Bold Systems that the larval food is possibly  in the FABACAE family. If that is the case, we have many plants in this family including Hardenbergia Sp, Crotalaria Sp, Jacksonia scoparia (Dog Wood tree), Hovea Sp and Castanospermum australe (Black Bean), among others.

Wingspan is about 50 mm.

Sub Family:- EREBINAE
Genus:- Pandesma
Species:- submurina

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Balantiucha leucocephala

Balantiucha leucocephala EPIPLEMINAE URANIIDAE

Moths in URANIIDAE are often difficult to identify due to the tendency to roll their wings.
I have covered a few other moths from URANIIDAE previously on this Blog. Just enter "URANIIDAE" in the search box on the top left of the screen in the desktop (Web)version.

There doesn't seem to be a search box in the mobile version but you can change the mobile version to the web version by going to the bottom of the screen and clicking the web version button.
I don't have anything on the biology of this moth,
Wing span 25-28mm

Genus:-  Balantiucha
Species:- leucocephala

Some synonyms still being used on the internet:-  
Dirades platyphylla
Erosia leucocephala
Phazaca leucocephala


Wednesday 6 May 2020

Ethmia postica


The larval food plants are said to be in the BORAGINACEAE family which in this area would probably be a weed that grows in the grass, Blue heliotrope, (Heliotropium amplexicaule) which is a Native of South America, a declared weed in NSW, also attracts Darnaid butterflies

Further afield in this area, plants in Ehretia (Boraginaceae) are also food plants for this moth.
Wing span about 25 - 30mm.

Sub Family:- ETHMIINAE
Genus:- Ethmia
Species:- postica


Wednesday 29 April 2020

Oraesia argyrosigna

Oraesia argyrosigna CALPINAE EREBIDAE

This one has caused me some problems with identification. I am pretty sure that it is O. argyrosigna, but the more I look at the photos, the more inconsistencies I find in the various sites and books for any sort of positive ID.

There are really only two moths that it is likely to be here, O. argyrosigna and O. emarginata.
I put what I think is O. emarginata on post on this Blog on Wednesday, 14 March 2018. They are a bit more tropical usually, but like a lot of moths, given the right conditions they will migrate.
On the other hand, O. argyrosigna is a known east of here and the likely hood of it being here is very high.

As usual, all identifications are as good as I can make them from photographs, and there is ample room for error!
Wing span was a little over 50mm.

Sub Family:- CALPINAE
Genus:- Oraesia
Species:- argyrosigna


Wednesday 22 April 2020

Catephia linteola

Catephia linteola EREBINAE EREBIDAE

Some sites are listing this moth as Nagia linteola. This certainly used to be it's name along with many other synonyms, however, for the purpose of this Blog, I am sticking to the names used on Bold Systems.
Moths of Australia (Common 1990), lists the moth as  Nagia linteola (GuenĂ©e, 1852) subspecies ecclesiastica.
Although I found some reference to larval food plants, they were from India and not likely to be represented here. One mention of a Corymbia species is a possible but I couldn't find anything definite.

Sub Family:- EREBINAE
Genus:- Catephia
Species:- linteola

They can also be very dark and difficult to see the wing markings.


Tuesday 14 April 2020

Leucania cruegeri 


 This week I have managed to find three new moths on the windows at night.
I don't have anything on the biology of this one.
Wing span is around 30 to 35mm.

Sub Family:- NOCTUINAE
Genus:- Leucania
Species:- cruegeri

Edited:- April 22, 2020
 I originally put this on as Dysgonia Sp EREBINAE EREBIDAE

I have since decided that it is :-

Dysgonia solomonensis EREBINAE EREBIDAE

Despite the moth in the picture missing a couple of wing dots that appear in most of the samples, I think it is still D. solomonensis. The wing scales are missing in the area of the dots which is just under the centre loop of the dark patch.
The larval food plant is Breynia oblongifolia (Phyllanthaceae). We have a number of these in the garden.

There is a good photo match in Moths of Australia (Common 1990), using one of the synonyms, now out of date, Parallelia solomonensis Sub species papuana, and on Bold Systems with added notes under the synonym Bastilla solomonensis.

Sub Family:- EREBINAE
Genus:- Dysgonia 
Species:- solomonensis


Wednesday 8 April 2020

A trick of the light

Scoparia exhibitalis SCOPARIINAE CRAMBIDAE

At first I thought this was another new species but soon realised that it was Scoparia exhibitalis.

Genus:- Scoparia
Species:- exhibitalis

It didn't seem to matter what angle I took the photo on it still showed the colours on the scales on the wings.

They normally look like this sample to the left which I put on the Blog on Wednesday, 20 February 2019.


Thursday 2 April 2020

Spoladea recurvalis


This is another one I missed doing a Blog on in the first round.
This a very common moth around here and often seen flying during the day.
The larval food plants around here include Atriplex Sp. salt bushes and Chenopodium Sp. which are a weed here.
They are a pest on Beet vegetable crops.
Wing span about 20mm.

Genus:- Spoladea
Species:- recurvalis

I discovered I hadn't done a Blog on Spoladea recurvalis when I went to show these next couple of photos.

We has some good rain in February and have had another small amount just recently. The result is that despite it being late in the season, the butterflies and moths are reproducing in quite large numbers. There is not the variety we used to get but that may come.

Two sites west of us here have had flooding rain in February and a couple of weeks ago we were seeing an amazing number of  moths and butterflies. At one site, an unusually large number of caterpillars on plants and on the ground, moving from one area to another.
I don't think we can say the drought has really broken yet, but the plants and insects are certainly appreciating the water.

Daisies are always a good food plant for butterflies and moths, at least the ones that can feed on the nectar.

These daisies were in large numbers in an area that was recently flooded.

The photo to the left has two moths and a grass blue butterfly. There was a large number of species at that particular site about 80 Klm west of here.


Tuesday 17 March 2020

Theretra oldenlandiae


I found this caterpillar on our drive way but I have never identified the moth here. I think this is the fifth and final instar of the moth and it was probably looking for a place to pupate.
The moths are very similar to the Theretra margarita but have a double stripe down the abdomen rather than the single stripe of T. margarita.

An article on the T. oldenlandiae moth can be found at:-

And a photo of T.margarita in on this Blog on Wednesday, 16 December 2015.

Genus:- Theretra
Species:- oldenlandiae