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.


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.)