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.