Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Hot Mothy Night

Last night was a key night for multitudes of moths in Robertson. The day had been relatively hot (not as hot as Sydney), but it was our hottest day so far this season. And so was the early evening. The moths were out in their droves.

I had left the front porch light on, and the inside light had attracted great numbers of moths to the glass panel above the front door. I have published a generalised shot of the window, but as the moths are so small, most are virtually invisible. However, it is a fairly large image, so if you click on the image, you will see some reasonable detail of at least 20 moths; several Ichumenid wasps; a click beetle at the top; and a black beetle on the left. A pretty extraordinary selection of different insects in a single image.
I have tried to get some images of these smaller creatures, (see below) and I hope that my mothing colleagues might be able to help me work out the classes of these tiny moths.

There was only one medium-large sized moth, with a wing span of about 35mm (resting). This one is similar to one I found during the day a few weeks ago, out in the bush. I referred to it in my own amateurish manner, as a "triangular moth" for that is the most startling thing about it. Even though most moths give a triangular profile, so it is a silly thing to say. But I notice that it does appear to be in the family of Geometridae (so I am not the only person to note the geometric shape).

The closest I can get to an ID for this moth is Epidesmia hypenaria, but I cannot be sure.

The previous one seemed more clearly marked, with spots and a dark line across its wings. I concluded it was probably Epidesmia chilonaria. In relation to the previous photo. my blogging colleague, and moth expert, Mosura said: "What you are seeing as being the antennae are actually porrect labial palpi or in simpler terms, forward pointing sensory organs that are part of the mouth." These prominent mouth parts are clearly visible in this photo. Click to enlarge.

This small moth has very distinctively spread wings, and tell-tale spines on its legs. Beyond that I cannot say what it is. Any tips will be welcomed, folks.This next Moth looks very similar to Mosura's Aeolothapsa malacella which is in the group Oecophoridae
These next two specimens (different individual moths, photographed in the single image) might possibly be Tortricopsis uncinella . The colour looks a little different, but they were in different positions relative to the flash of the camera. Both have distinctive wing markings.

This next moth was tiny, and a long way from the camera when I took the shot, but it appears to have spurs on its wings. Very strange, to my eyes. These "bumps" on the wings are visible on both left and right wings, so it does not appear to be an optical illusion.

I have no idea what this moth might be, or indeed if the "spurs" are an aberration, or are normal.

NOTE: Mosura says it is Phrissogonus laticostata

This next moth might be Epyaxa subsidaria within the GEOMETRIDAE. Its wing span was about 2 cms across. This last moth is a relatively common one, which I have seen many times before, but I cannot place it just now. It has a distinctive dark back of the head, and prominent "zebra stripes" across the wings. It is a small moth, barely 1 cm long. I will take a wild guess that it might be Halone sejuncta, but I cannot find any guides to its size, or to its known range or locations, so it is really just a guess.
DJW Note: Mosura has set me right on this one too: NoGenus subfurcatana


Mosura said...

About to hit the sack as eyes are falling out of head.

The one with the spurs

The last one

Good night :-)

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mosura
Your IDs have now been incorporated, with credits. :-))

Snail said...

What a great haul! I can't help you with any of them, Denis, but I read and learn.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Snail
"Read and learn" - that's what we all do, isn't it?