Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A night of moths

Rain has brought forth the swift moths. I saw the first yesterday — it battered the window pane so heavily that I thought the glass would break — and tonight they are out in numbers. About a dozen are fluttering around the carport and patio lights as I type this. I think these are Oxycanus buluwandji, a species endemic to the Wet Tropics.


Swift or ghost moths (family Hepialidae) have long lives as caterpillars, but only a transient existence as adults. The moths last for a day. So brief are their lives that they do not even have mouthparts.


I'm going to switch off the lights so they don't waste their last few hours.

5 comments:

biobabbler said...

1. wow. honker of a moth!
2. hooray for you and your consideration re: helping them meet their destiny.
3. when the rain beetles come out at night, my husband and I have been known to sit in the dark so they don't bash their fuzzy little heads against our windows, and instead, focus on finding a lady friend in more effective ways.

=)

Snail said...

I was worried that I might cause a local extinction by leaving the lights on! One night of life and they spend it mesmerised by the fluoros.

:) at you two chaperoning the beetles. Focus, fellas! Focus!

forestwalk/laura k said...

wow! moths of incredible size...and power!
good for you...to save YOUR power by not having them crash over & over....

Calling Ravens said...

Gorgeous photos and moths!

Snail said...

Laura, they're like furry, flying battering rams when they hit the window. I felt so guilty about it!

Meggs, thanks! The forewings aren't very brightly coloured, but those patterns are gorgeous. (There's a dusky rose blush on the hindwings, but that's a bit difficult to photograph without damaging the moth.)