Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Helena Gum Moth at Steve's Servo

I have seen the Helena Gum Moth Opodiphthera helena (White, 1843) only once before, in Robertson. But never have I seen it in such an unsuitable roosting position as hanging onto one of the black Fuel Hoses at "Steve's Servo".

But there it was, yesterday afternoon.

First shot - a careful shot, lest I disturb it.

Head on view.
You can see the orange legs and finely marked feet.

Finally I got to shoot the whole moth
from "above" (more or less at right angles)
I decided that hanging on to a petrol fuel line
was not really a suitable spot for a Gum Moth.
So I picked it up, and carried it away.
I placed it on a wooden fence at the side of
"Steve's  Servo".
Note the posture it has adopted.
Classic "defence posture" for this Moth.

"If disturbed, a resting moth will deflect its head and body, incline its wings forwards displaying its hind eyespots," Source:


Flabmeister said...

Great shits. I hope the moth appreciated your concern.

Incidentally I notice your hit counter is approaching an interesting number. Are you offering a prize for visitor #333,333?

Yours in jealousy at near 25K


Swan Pond said...

That's nice of you to move the moth. Any idea whether this one is named after Helena Scott who drew these early on? I tried googling the subject and did not get any conclusion but my hunch is her father might have named it after her, or someone else did.


Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Martin.
I think you mis-keyed an I for an O.
At least I hope so.
I will check the counter.
Tend to get a bit lazy with that stuff these days.
Thanks for telling me.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Helena
Your guess was spot on.
Well done.
Last year Sydney Museum had an exhibition of the Scott Sisters" work and papers. Some of it is still accessible via that live link above.

Denis Wilson said...

Sorry Megan - I got confused with my Helenas and my Megans.
I meant you.

Swan Pond said...

No worries, ta for the info. I may have had to go check a book, if you hadn't known that! I wish I'd known about the Scott sisters exhibition, though I have seen some of their work in the Mitchell library.