Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Backyard Tigers and More

We had a Tasmanian Tiger visit the backyard last night. Well a Tiger moth that is or more specifically, the Black and White Tiger Moth, Spilosoma glatignyi.

Black and White Tiger Moth - Spilosoma glatignyi - (Arctiidae)

Black and White Tiger Moth - FW 25mm - Spilosoma glatignyi - (Arctiidae)

The veggie garden also provided a couple of photo opportunities. Under the outer leaves of a cabbage I found both a final instar larva and a chrysalis of the Cabbage White Butterfly, Pieris rapae. I never use chemical sprays on my garden so a few caterpillars are to be expected and of course there was still 3kg of perfectly good cabbage underneath.

Cabbage White Butterfly - larva - Pieris rapae - (Pieridae)

Cabbage White Butterfly - chrysalis - Pieris rapae - (Pieridae)
Note the single strand of silk attaching the chrysalis to the cabbage leaf.

Another species with a taste for cabbages and other brassicas is the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella. I get hundreds of these in the moth trap some nights and yet for some reason I've never had them (yet) on my veggies. I bought some locally grown broccoli once only to find it was riddled with Diamondbacks at every stage of their development. I didn't complain as I got some good photos at the time and the chooks were happy to eat it :-) Here's one from the trap the other night.

Plutella xylostella - (Plutelidae)

Here's an interesting little moth. I thought it would belong to the Oecophoridae but the labial palpi seemed to be sticking straight out. With Oecophorids the palpi should be upcurved and pointed. Closer inspection showed this was actually the case. What I had been looking at were thick brush like hairs growing outward from the palpi.

Wingia hesperidella (Oecophoridae)

Wingia hesperidella (Oecophoridae) - Detail of head

Note the Upturned and pointed palpi and the thick, outward pointing, brush like hairs.

The next two photos show a couple of unidentified Noctuids I've had in the trap over the last few days. Any ID suggestions are welcome.

Unidentfied Noctuid

Unidentfied Noctuid


  1. I am really enjoying these moth posts. I must get my hands on some traps to see what's lurking here in the urban greyness.

  2. I think the frogs and geckos are eating all my moths before I get to see them :-(

    Talking of caterpillars and broccoli, dietary researchers puzzled by healthy Third World vegetarians looked a bit more closely at their food. And found hidden insect life making a considerable addition to their vitamin and mineral intakes. Almost better than Marmite ;-)

  3. that macro shot is a beauty Alan. The last moth is similar to one I got night before last, it's the last in the october album in my photo gallery. www.natureofgippsland.org

  4. Hi Mosura

    I have seen several related Tiger Moths, but none yet, this season. Must be too cold for them still, this year.
    Last year I had S. canescens, ("Light Ermine Moth") and S. curvata (Crimson Tiger Moth).

    Your Tiger Moth looks pretty nice.
    Loved the rounded orange-coloured one. Oecophorid Moth. Most unusual.



  5. Thanks Snail - I'm sure there will be lots of species lurkinh.

    Thanks Tony - Insectivorous vegetations eh. Interesting concept.

    Thanks Duncan - Ah! I think I know what your moth is. I was looking at it yesterday when trying to ID mine. I'll get back to you with the name.

    Thanks Denis - Lucky you! I've not seen S. curvata yet although it is found in Tassie.

  6. Great shots, Mosura. the Tiger is stunning.

    My only recorded 'Tiger' to date is
    Utetheisa pulchelloides.