On Thursday evening it had been raining in Robertson, and I had been away in Wollongong. When I returned I found my front verandah festooned with Swift Moths.
|Swift Moths waiting for me to let them inside|
|Even more Swift Moths on my screen door.|
I took a few images, and then came inside.
I opened my Computer and found an email from Martin Butterfield to say that he had "several hundred Swift Moths at our place tonight" (Martin is at Carwoola, NSW - somewhere in that district anyway, I believe).
My point is that my experience is not confined to Robertson. Cold weather and moderate rainfall (confirmed by this map) do seem to bring these Swift Moths out.
I have certainly noted their appearance being linked to wet nights previously - co-incidentally it was in the same season, (on 21 May - albeit in a previous year).
|A mottled pattern on the wings of this one|
|Strong silver lines on this Swift Moth|
|A combined mottled pattern and vertical lines|
|Two contrasting wing patterns |
on some of the Swift Moths.
Several years ago I sent images to Donald Hobern who was at that stage in CSIRO, Canberra, at the Australian National Insect Collection.
Donald told me: "Just checked in ANIC. Based on the specimens there, Oxycanus australis is relatively consistent in appearance (like the image I forwarded earlier), whereas O. dirempta covers the diversity of all your photos - including some exceptionally close to the most highly patterned ones you show. I would therefore say that the likely identification is O. dirempta."