Wednesday, 29 October 2008

A New Moth

Mothing - 29th October 2008
.....Culama australis

Not much in the trap tonight I thought to myself. There was a Helicoverpa sp and a Crexa Moth, Genduara punctigera both of which I posted photos of a couple of days ago. Then there was a Goat Moth which at first glance I thought was the Australian Goat Moth, Zyganisus caliginosus. Seen plenty of those I thought but as I hadn't shown one on the blog before I put it aside for photographing. Then I noticed the grey behind the head instead of the normal creamy buff colour. After closer inspection I found it was actually Culama australis which is a new species for my backyard moth list. For you birders out there that's every bit as exciting as any new bird tick.

You can see the similar looking Zyganisus caliginosus by clicking here which as it happens is one of my own photographs taken here in my backyard.

Apparently the larvae of this species bore just below the bark of Eucalypts whereas most Cossids are deep borers.

(Click Photos to Enlarge)

#1 - Culama australis (Cossidae : Cossinae) - FW 23mm

#2 - Culama australis (Cossidae : Cossinae) - FW 23mm


  1. You forgot to boast of the total tally. No point twitching without skiting!

  2. Thanks Tony - Nothing to boast about. Just 79 named species for the backyard in two years. Mind you the list would grow considerably If I could ID all the unnamed ones.

  3. Hi Mosura
    I keep taking photos of moths, but seldom publish them, as I find getting the names for them so time consuming (and so unreliable) using Internet sources alone.
    Nice to see your recognition on Don's site. It is a very good site, but being based on mounted specimens, and photos of caterpillars makes it hard to ID moths from photos of live specimens.
    I probably need to invest in a book or 5 and that's a problem in itself.
    One of these days....
    Meanwhile I keep on the lookout for new and unusual creatures on my front porch.

  4. What size is that one Mosura?

  5. Thanks Denis - There are plenty of books to be had but unfortunately no comprehensive ones. There are just too many moths. You should post your photos even without a name. they are still interesting and - who kmows? Maybe someone will know what it is.

    Thanks Duncan - The forewing was 23mm (which I've just edited into the post) so the full wingspand, adding a little bit for the body would be close to 50mm.

  6. I'm on the lookout for Cossids here. Haven't seen one yet but I reckon I've found a few holes in trees that the larvae might well be responsible for! :-)

  7. Thanks JL - Other than this one I haven't seen any others yet this season.