MOV 6 and more.

Two new volumes of the Moths of Victoria series have been published, MOV 2 Second Edition, and MOV 6, Hepialidae and Allies. Essential references for the moth-er and available from the Entomological Society of Victoria.

moth books

The year is rapidly drawing to a close, and outside the window Bill Cane’s pink Victorian Christmas Bush, Prostanthera lasianthos is flowering, always worth waiting twelve months to enjoy.


I remember the first time I saw and admired the Pale Vanilla Lily, Arthropodium milleflorum. I soon had one in the garden, and now, more than five decades later I have a couple more, planted for the native bees. The small flowers, seen in close up are quite stunning in their beauty.

vanilla lily

Insect life is getting more abundant in the garden, for some days a tiny Yellow-banded Dart, Ocybadistes walkeri sothis has been flitting around.

yellow-banded dart

And around the raised beds sand wasps are mating, and looking for good sites in the sandy soil for breeding burrows .

sand wasp

That sandy soil has scattered conical depressions, this year there are again quite a number of ant lions in residence. While checking them out I noticed defoliation on the fresh foliage of a River Bottlebrush, Callistemon sieberi. A minute’s investigation revealed the culprits, a species of Psychid or case moth. The homes of these larvae are always interesting and can be quite attractive. Matching the cases to the adult moths is in many instances still something of a puzzle.

case moth

Grasshopper time is with us and these insects make very interesting pictures, this Mimetic Gumleaf Grasshopper, Goniaea opomaloides with its striking blue tibia was photographed on a recent visit to the bush block looking for Small Duck Orchids, Paracaleana minor.



The orchids were just starting to flower but were hard to find due to their diminutive size, the dry weather is probably to blame. The one photographed seems to have been used by a small spider as somewhere to place its Christmas decorations.

small duck orchid

Two more adolescents from the Order Orthoptera were snapped on the wall of the house, a tiny grasshopper and similarly sized katydid.



Another reason for visiting the bush block was to search for peacock jumping spiders. On a hot windy day I was unsuccessful, only snapping one black species, but I’ve got lots of spider pictures for the next post.

Click to enlarge.

Mothing Glenmaggie #2

A warm calm night was ideal for the November mothing session at the Glenmaggie old bush block, and while setting up I noticed quite a few beetles flying up above. Hmm I thought, they could be a problem, and so it turned out to be. With the light shining they started to arrive, large and small, for example a Bess Beetle, Passalidae family, and a small elongated beetle in the Brentidae family, Cordus hospes. Bess beetles live in rotting logs and feed their larvae on masticated wood.

bess beetle


Then as the night wore on, small “beetles” came to the light in their hundreds, and it didn’t take long to realise that they were in fact bugs, not beetles, and one of the distinguishing features was their fragrance…. Many bugs emit a quite unpleasant smell, these weren’t so bad with an aroma vaguely tinged with eucalyptus. They were burrowing bugs in the Cydinae family, it was the first time I’d encountered them and I’m not particularly anxious to make their acquaintance in such numbers again….

burrowing bug

In dry bush such as this bulldog ants often wander around the light looking for an easy meal, the picture tells the story.

bulldog ant

But on to moths, the rig was set up close to a large Exocarpos cupressiformis, or native cherry, and the first moth to land was a nice Genduara punctigera, the larvae of which feed on the cherry.


Larvae of many of the Foresters, Zygaenidae family, feed on Hibbertia foliage. The block has plenty of Hibbertia obtusifolia, and on this night quite a number of Pollanisus sp. moths came in. They are a metallic green and quite eye catching, but unfortunately the wing scales are easily lost.


Prior to this night I’d only recorded the Tiny Tussock Moth, Oligeria hemicalla once, so it was good to see one fly up the sheet even though it then disappeared.


There are only a relatively small number of state records of Anestia semiochrea, several nice specimens came to the light.

anestia semiochrea

Another new moth settled near the edge of the sheet and at first I took it for a Geometrid, then saw the palpi and realised it was a Noctuid. It is Prorocopis euxantha, again a moth with a small number of state records.


And, just when I’d decided to leave the night to the beetles and bugs, a big bomber came in, a Cossid, Endoxyla species, I think encalypti but am open to correction.


Click images to enlarge.

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