Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Common Splendid Ghost Moth

On Saturday morning, a bright sunny morning in Robertson, my friend Kirsten and I were sitting outside Cafe Pirouette having coffee, prior to going out to see the Sun Orchids of Tourist Road.

Suddenly Kirsten made a squeak, and reached inside her blouse
and grabbed some large insect and pulled it out.
At first she had no idea what it was.
She just knew it was large and flapping furiously.
Then she looked down and said: "Oh it's Pooped on me!"
I looked at her hand, and said, "No, she's Laying eggs"
Kirsten, a keen naturalist herself, felt slightly embarrassed
that she had nor realised herself quite what was going on.

We re-arranged her grip on the Moth (for we had worked out by now roughly what it was) and knew it was not dangerous. I had grabbed my camera. (For once I had it with me!) So I snapped off a few quick shots.

I have done some searching on the internet
and come to the conclusion that this is a female (well, we knew that) Common Splendid Ghost Moth.
(Aenetus ligniveren)
This CSIRO site shows an almost identical moth from Mt Keira (not far away, near Wollongong). That website also shows the very different-looking male moth. Don Herbison-Evans's Lepidoptera Website says: " The females are larger and have red (hind) wings, with variable green patches on the forewings". Unlike the related "Swift Moths" (Hepalidae) which swarm here in late autumn and winter, in this species, "The adult moths emerge in early summer". That fits with this occurrence.

Here are links to photos of a live specimen of the male moth. It looks so different, one could think they were of a different species.

Post Script: The moth was released, and the eggs were deposited carefully by Kirsten in the grooves of the bark of a tree.


Mark Young said...

What a great looking moth. Congrats on fatherhood. ;)

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mark
It was an exciting moment or two - more so for Kirsten whose bosom was invaded - than for me.
I think she was relieved to know that it was only a moth, not anything more dangerous.

Yurii said...

Where is the photo?

Denis Wilson said...

This is a "G" rated Blog.
Sorry to disappoint.