Monday, 8 March 2010

Moths!

No new cicadas for a while, so I've turned my attention to moths. This involves a lot of leafing through plates in I.F.B. Common's 'Moths of Australia' and clicking on pictures in CSIRO's Moths Online. I haven't had a great deal of success so far. Although Common's book illustrates 1,000 species, that's only about 10% of the described fauna. The other 90% are crawling over my windows or battering themselves senseless on the fluoros and falling into my tea.

Here are some that I've managed to identify. (Possibly incorrectly. So if you can help out, please let me know.)

Chrysodeixis illuminata (Noctuidae: Plusiinae)

This species also occurs in New Guinea and Fiji. The spur on each foreleg is an epiphysis, used for cleaning the antennae and proboscis.

Close up
(I want this pattern on a sofa)

Micronia fuscifimbria (Uraniidae: Microniinae)

The best known uraniid is the day-flying Alcides zodiaca, a large black moth with iridescent markings. The family also includes a small number of pale nocturnal species.

Eumelea rosalia (Geometridae: Oenochrominae)


A variable species that extends from SE Queensland through Indonesia to Malaysia.

10 comments:

Seabrooke said...

Beautiful species. I like the first one especially. The loopers (Plusiinae)are one of my favourite groups. Great rich colours on that one.

Dave Coulter said...

I like that little white moth :)

Duncan said...

You're on a slippery slope now Snail. ;-) Give us more of those wonderful northern moths please....

Snail said...

Seabrooke, I rather think it looked like a William Morris fabric.

Dave, you'd love its close diurnal cousins. I must try to get some pics of them.

Duncan, yes, I feel the ground falling out from under my feet! I've just bought Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards' 'A Guide to Australian Moths', which doesn't cover as many species as Common but has a load of tropical moths in habitat shots.

desertnutmeg said...

I am LOL. I am reminded of a convo I had with a friend last summer about "getting into moths" and she answered with a resounding "NO! Like I need to start being obsessed with another creature!"
And i laughed and laughed because i know that now that i have planted the seed, it's just a matter of time...
mwahahahahahahaa....

I love the colors in the first one too-have been craving/drawn too those colors lately. But, I also think the rough linen look of the white moth would be beautiful in furnishings too.
Hey! There's your second career-home design! Based on cardboard mats and lepidopterian fabrics!

Snail said...

I saw some great moths tonight outside a restaurant at the edge of the rainforest, but I didn't have a camera. One of them was a delicate blue-green. Very spectacular.

Then I had a margarita and forgot about the insects.

Marvin said...

A nice sampling of moths. The Micronia fuscifimbria is my favorite too -- subtle beauty.

Snail said...

Marvin, there's a great range of moths here, but they're so difficult to identify.

The big day-flying relatives of Micronia are common in thsi area but insist on flying up in the canopy. I can see them with the binoculars but I just can't get any pictures. I will persist.

openid said...

Hi there - visiting from TMaM. I do love the rich colors on that first one!

Snail said...

Welcome! There are a quite a few like that --- they don't look all that extravagant until you get up close. One I photographed the other day appeared dull brown until the light hit it --- and the wing scales turned to gold. Hidden beauty.