Friday, 5 September 2014

A moth for Friday: Asota heliconia (Aganaidae)

Although it's not moth season – too dry and too cold at night – a few moths do wander in after dark. A few nights ago, this tiger moth Asota heliconia (Aganaidae) flew in and settled on the wall, where it stayed for some days. It might have been frozen to the woodwork.


Half a dozen species of Asota have been recorded from the warmer parts of eastern Australia. North-eastern Queensland is the stronghold. Asota heliconia is probably the most frequently encountered of those species. (At least, it flies into the house more often than any of its congeners.)



Linnaeus described this species in 1758 as Phalaena heliconia. The lectotype, a little ragged but still in good nick for something so fragile and old*, is held in collection of the Museum of Evolution: Zoology at the University of Uppsala.

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* Aren't we all?**

** Well, I am.***

*** I can't speak for you. 


5 comments:

Duncan said...

Nice one!

Snail said...

It's a cutie, isn't it? I'm glad it's one of the easier moths to identify.

biobabbler said...

What a beauty! And you are now Queen of the Amusing Asterisks. =]

Linda said...

Very nice!

sarala said...

That second close up is just fantastic. Beautiful!