Saturday, 14 November 2009

Mothing - 13th / 14th November 2009

.....The early birds got the worms but I got the moths.

The sun rises at around 5:50 am so when I headed out to the backyard at 6:30am to check the nights catch I expected to be fighting off the fairy-wrens who are usually hanging around the trap for a free feed. I was surprised to see that for a change I had beaten them to it. They must have been having a sleep in.

It had been a clear night with a bit of a breeze but the temperature had only got down to 9° C. Although there were only a dozen or so moths in the box I was happy to find among them two new species for my backyard. One is the Tinead, Monopis icterogastra and the other a Geometrid which I have not yet identified. (Any suggestions welcome.)

(Click on photos to enlarge)

First up is the Geometrid, Niceteria macrocosma. These have beautiful golden underwings as can be seen by clicking here.

Here is a nice fresh specimen of Heliomystis electrica, also a Geometrid. The name "electrica" no doubt comes from the latin and greek words for amber. You might wonder why this moth would be given such a name until................ see the under wings in all their glory from below.
- and no I'm not conducting experiments to discover whether or not moths are ticklish :-)

This is one of the species new to my garden list. It is Monopis icterogastra and belongs to the Tineidae. Notice the woolly head which is quite a common feature within this family.

Last up is the Geometrid which I have not yet had time to identify. If you happen to know what it is then please let me know.


  1. Niceteria macrocosma is a smart looking moth, Mosura. Haven't seen that one here (if it is - I'll have to check that).

    Can't help with the Geometrid. What size would it have been?

    Only got two of note last night. The wind came up which was a blessing. Cooled things down a bit.

    One, an almost black Noctuid I cannot identify and the other yet to be processed. I also got another Cryphaea xylina - slightly different from my previous shot. I'll blog them in due course.

  2. Beaut moths Mosura, great to have you back on the job.

  3. Thanks JL - That Geometrid was probably around 40mm in wingspane but I did not actually measure it. I'll have a closer look at it this evening.

    Thanks Duncan - .... and it's been fun mothing again too. (Except that I broke a bit of Perspex on my trap yesterday which will make it easier to escape - I'll soon fix that though)

  4. Hi Alan
    Welcome back to blogging.
    Thanks for posting a notice of your new address for your Lepidoptera of Tasmania site.
    I have updated my link which was not functioning. It works now, so thanks very much.

  5. Thanks Denis - and many thanks for the link too.

  6. Excellent all round, Mosura!