Tuesday, 6 March 2012

I know I've just returned but...


...it's my day off. So here's a moth.

After poring over my books (see below) and cross-checking with CSIRO's Australian Moths Online, I've decided that this is probably Heortia vitessoides (Crambidae). It is found from India to Taiwan and south to Fiji. In Australia, it occurs in rainforests of the north-east.

We've had a bit of a run on Crambidae here lately. Remember the moth convention from three weeks ago? Whereas those species had aquatic larvae, the caterpillar of this one lives on terrestrial plants. And lives so well on them that in Asia it is considered a pest of the rare and economically important agarwood (Aquilaria). Agarwood is currently being tested as a new crop in Far North Queensland, so I expect we'll see more of these moths around soon.

References
Common, I.F.B. (1990). Moths of Australia. Carlton: Melbourne University Press. 535 pp.

Zborowski, P. & Edwards, T. (2007). A Guide to Australian Moths. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing. 214 pp.

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