Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Fat, Furry Moth doing loops on my deck.

This moth was doing loops on the surface of my back deck, late this afternoon.
It seemed unable, or unwilling to fly properly, but was walking around in tight circles, flapping its wings furiously. I say "furiously" because I had to set the shutter speed to 1/500th of a second to get a clear image of all the wings. 1/160th was too slow.
Rear View, wings flapping furiously.
Extremely extended abdomen.
The closest I can come to an D for this moth is Periscepta polysticta.
Don Herbison-Evans has this page for the species.
Graeme Cocks has this page for this species on his Insects of Townsville site .
CSIRO has this image of the species.
Thanks to Mosura for the easy to compare photos of adult moths on his Website, and for the links to original photos.

DJW EDIT: Junior Lepid has suggested Nataxa flavescens. Donald Hobern's photos are of a moth very similar to mine. Thanks to all.

Front on view
Orange head, and two yellow dots eather side of head.
Other species which I investigated were the similarly striped and hairy Apina callisto, but it has distinctive spots along the trailing edge of its wings. Another in the Noctuidae group is the Vine Moth, Phalaenoides glycinae. Junior Lepid had a wonderful image of that moth a few weeks ago. That image shows that my Moth is not that species, even though there are obvious siimilarities.Before considering these Moths, I had assumed it was one of the Tiger Moth group - the Arctiidae - I was inclined to that group initially because of the colouring, and also the extreme hairyness around the collar. But when I looked at them, I could not find a match there.

Head on view, with face, antennae and legs clearly visible.
Click to enlarge.
If I have got this ID wrong, please tell me.

Also, if anyone can explain what the Moth was doing flapping around in circles on my deck, and why, I would appreciate that information.

And is it a heavily pregnant Moth? It looked like it was about to burst.

8 comments:

Junior Lepid said...

Denis, just a thought. Check the Anthelids. Nataxa flavescens is rather similar to your moth.

love the photos.

Gouldiae said...

G'day Denis,
Some nice shots of a strange, (to me), moth. Re your penultimate paragraph - seems it was just in a bit of a flap! (Sorry).
Regards,
Gouldiae

Junior Lepid said...

Denis, if this is Nataxa flavescens, it's the female. The males are different.

Why was it in a spinning frenzy? A concussed pregnant lady? Or perhaps a slight malfunction in the landing gear!!! :-)

Denis Wilson said...

Hi JL and Mosura
JL is right.
Donald's Flickr Album Anthelid pages show an almost identical moth to mine, as Nataxa flavescens.

Denis Wilson said...

Gouldiae
Dreadful pun!
Sorry I got your comment mixed up with Mosura.
It is still a dreadful pun!
Denis

Gaye from the Hunter said...

hi Denis,

once again, some nice moth specimens. The nights here have not been warm enough to produce many moths yet, but it won't be long til they are swarming around my porch light.

Well done.

Cheers
Gaye

Duncan said...

There are two photos of your moth on page 5 of my October moths album Denis. A female also.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Duncan
I did look, but did not find it at first. Now you told me where to look, its easy. Thanks,
It seems yours was flapping fast too. Seems to be what they do.
Cheers
Denis