A little over a week ago I had the pleasure of presenting a program of nature photographs at the Maffra and District Landcare Network AGM. Moths were one of the features of the show, and a date was made for a night of mothing at Bellbird Corner Reserve a week later. September nights have been quite cold up til now with little moth activity, but a warm sunny day followed by a night with no moon gave us hope that we might have a reasonable result. The rig was set up facing an area containing the most diverse vegetation in the reserve, working on the theory that it would give us the best chance of a range of moths. An enthusiastic group of adults and youngsters gathered, and with darkness falling the light was fired up and we settled down to wait for arrivals.
Happily, over the next two hours moths from at least eight families came in to the light and provided plenty of interest to those present. It was especially pleasing to see the interest and enthusiasm shown by the young members of the group. One of the first moths to fly in and land was an old friend, a nice female specimen of the Black Geometrid, Melanodes anthracitaria.
A pale moth fluttering around was frustrating until it finally consented to land on the ground sheet behind the rig. It was another geometrid, one of the “triangular” moths, Epidesmia tryxaria, identified by the dark palpi projecting forward from the head.
Several small species of moth in the Oecophoridae family settled on the sheet and were photographed, then a check on the back of the rig revealed a beautiful large oecophorid, the Pink Leaf Moth, Wingia lambertella.
This is the third member of the genus that I’ve photographed, the others, both beautiful can be seen here and here. As the night cooled down moth arrivals fell off, and it was time to pack up after a successful session with good company. Most of the night’s moths can be seen here.
Click images to enlarge.