Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Heliotrope, the food not the colour

A warm still night brought out quite a few moths and a small one (about 3cm wingspan. that I caught was quite a standout with bright spots on a white background.
The identification check took a bit of time matching as there are two very similar moths but the pattern of the dots fitted the Heliotrope Moth Utetheisa pulchelloides one of the ARCTIIDAE family. They are widespread through the Indo-Australasian region and the caterpilars feed on plants of the Borage Family. The introduced European Heliotrope is a widespread weed throughout Australia and is poisonous to cattle and sheep so this moth could be a biological control agent then again it might also decimate positive plants on the borage family. Interesting to note that the name Heliotrope was given to plants that turn towards the sun and some of those had blue flowers that gave rise to a Heliotrope Blue colour.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Monitor and company

A warm day and a young lace monitor chose a quiet spot on the deck for a sunbake with a couple of  garden ornament Wombats for company.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

White trim

Found a moth resting up for the day on the ceiling of the verandah and when I tracked down the identity I was surprised at the common name "Browntail Gum Moth". 

As the photo shows the most striking feature is the white trim on both pair of wings and the brown tail is well hidden under the folded wings.
It is one of the LYMANTRIIDAE family Urocoma baliolalis with a wide range over eastern Australia where the caterpillars feed on eucalyptus leaves.