Monday, 21 November 2016

Moths known and unknown

A few moths fluttering around the windows late in the evening were captured to enable photos the next morning.
The largest was a hawk moth that I was able to identify as a Coprosma Hawk Moth Hippotion scrofa, a moth that is found throughout Australia as well as Fiji and India. Its caterpillars are not too fussy with a wide range of food plants such as sweet potatoes, dahlias, impatiens and fuchsias, however I expect the main food source here is the native slender grape Cayratia clematidea which is quite widespread on our property.


The other was one of the timber moths and the caterpillars are a pest of many agricultural crops throughout Australia, such as apples, apricots, cherries, peaches and the one that gives it its common name the Pecan Stem Girdler maroga melanostigma


 Finally a moth that I found the following night and managed a photograph with the torch light of my phone. 

It is quite a large moth with distinctive markings but as yet I have not been able to find its identity. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Ironbark blossoms beckon

I have regularly seen Musk Lorikeets Glossopitta concinna in small flocks flying at high speed, which seems to be the only speed that they know. They spend a lot of time in the treetops  of Eucalyptus when the blossoms are thick. However today I was lucky as we have a large Ironbark Eucalyptus paniculata  which is in full flower with lots of the branches quite low that are loaded with blossom which enticed the lorikeets.

Musk Lorikeets are not as showy as the Rainbow but the colouring is quite beautiful in an understated way, The brilliant green with highlights of scarlet and touches of blue and yellow which I was able to capture on a couple of photos as most of the time the birds are almost obscured by foliage and blossoms as they feed.

They range down the east coast and around to the border of South Australia and a pocket of naturalised birds around Perth in WA.


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

An attractive pair

An unusual shape on a verandah post caught my attention and a close look explained as it was two not one contributing to the shape, a pair of moths caught In Flagrante Delicto.

A beautiful pair oblivious to having their photo taken, for which I was pleased as I had not seen this species before. The markings are quite stunning and the false "head" making them look like something other than moths.


It took me a little time to find the identification but finally found enough sources to place them in the COSSIDAE family, Endoxyla mackeri one of the wood moths whose caterpillars bore into the branches of trees, with a particular fondness for Acacia.
The caterpillars are also a favourite food source for Yellow-tail Black Cockatoos.

They stayed in place all day and in the evening the female (on top) departed whilst the male remained for sometime  onlyleaving later in the night.