There were two options, either Monday or Wednesday night. Monday was supposed to be fine and twenty degrees, with Wednesday twenty five and possible showers. The warmer temperature would be better for moths, but the chance of rain drops hitting an expensive hot moth light made the decision easy, Monday night it was. At least with daylight saving over it gets dark earlier, and I found myself setting up in the last glimmers of light in the tall eucalypt forest to the north. After the 60 mm autumn break I was hoping to get some Hepialids, and indeed the first moth to the light was an Elhamma australasiae, but as it turned out, it was the solitary member of that family to pay a visit. There were some good consolation prizes however, with two specimens of the Bright Geometrid, Lychnographa agaura coming in, the first time I’ve seen them in this locality.
April is the optimum time of year for Clara’s Satin Moth, Thalaina clara, and quite a number came in on this occasion. Not surprising as the larvae feed on wattle foliage, in abundant supply around my mothing location.
Rhinodia rostraria is another Geometrid that I’ve previously photographed in the area, it will often perch with its wings closed as this one did for quite some time, before I finally caught it with wings spread on the base of the sheet stand.
Two Sparshall’s Moths, Trichiocercus sparshalli, Notodontidae, came in, both males with their tail tufts and pectinate antennae. The larvae are very striking, the photo was taken in the garden way back in 2005, not knowing at the time what they were.
I was expecting to get the odd Anthelid in to the light, and when a large moth started fluttering around in anthelid fashion without settling I thought I had one. I took several shots of it on the move to try to get an identification, one of which turned out to be important. Finally it started to settle and I found I had a Lasiocampid, a male Entometer species with spectacular blue-lined antennae and blue-tinged palps. Entometer fervens is the common local species but this was Entometer apicalis, a larger moth with a different under-wing pattern. The identification was confirmed by the shot on the move that showed the under-wing details.
Finally, as happens occasionally, an ant spider wandered in and across the groundsheet before disappearing into the night. As mentioned in the Wikipedia article, the spider is walking on its three rear pairs of legs, leaving the front pair free to touch a challenging ant’s antennae.
These have been a selection of the night’s moths, the complete collection can be seen here.
Click to enlarge