Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A few Moths from Robertson - early December

I have been promising myself that I would publish photos of some of my local moths of Robertson. I have been inspired by my Aussie Nature Blogger colleague, Mosura, who has recently re-launched his website of the Moths and Butterflies of Tasmania (Lepidoptera of Tasmania). Also Duncan has invited me to join a new moths email forum, which is very generous of him. Of course, Junior Lepid regularly blogs about Moths and Butterflies in western Victoria.

Two night ago there was a swarm of small moths. The first of these was about 2cm long. The light colour on the top of its head puzzles me.
There are some moths which I have copied at the same relative size (as best as I can be sure).
I have brought these together, onto the same image, to show the variations in size. (Click to enlarge the image). From what I can work out, these are probably the same species.

Mosura has kindly advised me that this is probably Gastrina cristaria. That would make it a small moth in the GEOMETRIDAE tribe.
This next Moth seems to be Palaeosia bicosta (or a related species) of the Arctiidae family (which are generally known a "tiger moths" and tend to have very colourful bodies.
This moth had its wings very tightly folded. Mosura has much better images of a similar moth (Palaeosia bicosta) on his site. Mosura's second image shows colourful hind wings, which were not visible on my moth, as it refused to move when I tried to touch it.

This moth is likely to be Anthela acuta. This image was taken in January 2008. I have republished it here, because of the similarity to this next moth. This moth was about 4cm across its wings.
This is a similar moth which was about two days ago. It might be Anthela acuta or A. repleta, but I am not sure. Unfortunately, it was high up on my front porch wall, and I could not get close enough to take a good shot.
I am unable to get a fix on what this moth is, but I am guessing it is a Geometrid moth. It is a medium-small moth, a little over 2 cm long.

Mosura has advised it is possibly Leucania stenographa
which would make it a member of the NOCTUIDAE tribe.

I have lots of other moth photos, but I have a lot of catching up to do, in trying to identify them.


Duncan said...

On a slippery slope now Denis!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Duncan
Slippery because many moths leave their fine scales on one's fingers?
Thanks for the encouragement re Ausmoths.

Mosura said...

A nice collection there. The light coloured bit on the the first shots appears tp be a woolly head scales. Tineids often have this although I'm not saying your's is a Tineid. The one in the middle of the composite image is Gastrina cristaria. The last shot is possibly Leucana stenographa. Some Anthelids, beautiful as they are, give me a headache.

Denis Wilson said...

Many thanks Mosura for the guidance.
I have added in links to the species you have suggested.

Gaye from the Hunter said...

hi Denis,

interesting moth post. This has encouraged me to get to work and post up some of my moths, which I have not done before.

What is the dark segmented structure at the rear-end of the moth in the third pic? ("Palaeosia bicosta (or a related species)")


Junior Lepid said...

These are great, Denis.

I've had L. stenographa here recently.

I'll stand corrected, but it's possible your Geometrid might be Chrysolarentia sp. (larentiinae)
In "A guide to Aus. Moths" (Zborowski & Edwards) there's one a bit similar - C.insulsata which is found in the NSW tablelands, Vic. and Tas. Mosura would have a better idea, I suspect.

Denis Wilson said...

Yes, I saw Mosura had suggested that name to you a few weeks ago, as he did for me.
Thanks for the suggestion of name of Chrysolarentia sp.

Hi Gaye.
I feel my moth photos are very poor compared to what others have been offering recently. However, I am working on taking better Moth photos. The dark object is just a shadow. All those photos were taken at close range, with flash, hence the heavy shadows. It had me worried at first, and I lightened the image greatly to check and sure enough, there was no object there. I then returned the light balance to a normal view before publishing it. I ought have explained, as I was aware of the problem myself. The other shots also have shadows, but they are more obviously shadows.

Gaye from the Hunter said...

ah, thank you Denis (my curiosity will always have me asking questions).

I also have trouble with shadows, particularly as I use flash much more these days.