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Australian Moths 2018

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Old Tuesday 19th June 2018, 18:19   #26
lincsbirder
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Out of interest what bulb are you using?. Those Hawks look amazing. Really like this thread please keep posting. Thankyou
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Old Wednesday 20th June 2018, 23:01   #27
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Out of interest what bulb are you using?. Those Hawks look amazing. Really like this thread please keep posting. Thankyou
Hi Lincsbirder. My set up is very simple (see photo below) I use a single 125w MV bulb against a wall / white sheet. The set up is not ideal as I do loose a proportion of what is attracted to the light - probably only manage to record 70% of what actually appears in the night. The reason for doing it this way is the sheer number of potential "nasties" that might hide out in a more traditional trap - there are several species of venomous spiders / snakes etc that are regular in the garden and the possibility for picking up an egg box from a conventional trap set up and accidentaly prod something that bites back is rather high and so I prefer the "safer" option even if it does cost me as few moths. In the Wet I also run an additional 10W black light the other side of the house just to see what it can pull in
The Sphingidae fauna over here is impressive - my garden list is I think 43 out of a potential 86 species, there are a couple of more that might occur but realistically the rest are either in different parts of the country or at altitude - I know that within 70km of myself there are atleast five other regular species that only occur on the Tablelands rather than near sea level where I am
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Old Wednesday 20th June 2018, 23:07   #28
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This Dry/Winter continues to be extreme for the Tropics with nocturnal temperatures at least ten degrees below the norm. Aside from me feeling frozen there is virtually nothing flying in this weather. There were a grand total of nine moths on the sheet last night when I turned it off!
Clostera rubida (Notodontidae; Pygaerinae) - a regular visitor to the sheet
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Old Thursday 21st June 2018, 23:38   #29
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The cold weather continues...
Highlights from the couple of hours that I ran the trap last night
Pterogonia cardinalis (Nolidae; Westermanniinae) - an infrequent visitor to the trap
Pararguda australasiae (Lasiocampidae; Lasiocampinae) - a tricky genus to identify but this is the most likely species
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Old Friday 22nd June 2018, 16:04   #30
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Hey, Atropos... just wanted to add my thanks and appreciation for your thread, really nice to enjoy vicariously. What's your set-up? I notice you mention the word 'sheet' several times. Very first time I ever saw moth-trapping in action, on the Great Lakes back in 1995, the guys there were using a big white sheet in a forest but I don't recall their light source. I'm interested in trying to work out as portable a set-up for moth-trapping as possible as I'm about to embark on something of a camping/backpacking pilgrimage across the UK from Cornwall to Sunderland. I wonder if my ledlenser torch left on for a couple of hours behind a white sheet would be much use?
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Old Saturday 23rd June 2018, 03:49   #31
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Hey, Atropos... just wanted to add my thanks and appreciation for your thread, really nice to enjoy vicariously. What's your set-up? I notice you mention the word 'sheet' several times. Very first time I ever saw moth-trapping in action, on the Great Lakes back in 1995, the guys there were using a big white sheet in a forest but I don't recall their light source. I'm interested in trying to work out as portable a set-up for moth-trapping as possible as I'm about to embark on something of a camping/backpacking pilgrimage across the UK from Cornwall to Sunderland. I wonder if my ledlenser torch left on for a couple of hours behind a white sheet would be much use?
Thanks Britseye - my set up is outlined in post 27 on this thread but in simple terms yes my light (an 125W ballasted mv bulb) is against the wall of our house with a white sheet across the window, it is not efficient from the point of view of retaining everything that comes to the light but it reduces the potential for accidentaly aggravating any vaguely venomous beastie that has come to the light (there are a few around here that i like to avoid) and allows me to photograh everything - I use a photo as a record rather than a notebook and then translate these into a list and delete the photos I don't need the following day. There are so many here that take hours, days, weeks, months...to determine even to genus that I decided very early on the I would not start collecting everything I did not recognise as I just do not have the space or the time (I do retain some for myself and others that go off to various experts / collections to be identified). I regularly revist my photo collection to identify specimens from previous years - I think there are probably no more than 10 nights a year that I have been confident that I have got everything down to at least genus level...and those tend to be mid Dry season when the trap is empty!
Trapping on the move without access to any power source is tricky, a torch against a light surface is probably as good a bet as any but depending on where you are camping also check the toilet blocks or anywhere that has light on over night...you get odd looks but hey...
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Old Saturday 23rd June 2018, 09:47   #32
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Thanks. Apologies. I looked at the first page of the thread in detail but rather speed-read through Page 2 so missed your earlier post on set-up. I will keep checking back from time to time to see how you're doing.
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Old Sunday 24th June 2018, 04:43   #33
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Amazing what a slight improvement in the weather does..start of the week nocturnal temperatures in the mid single digits last night they were closer to normal at 14o with some cloud cover, moth numbers have reacted accordingly with a jump from no more than 10spp in a ight to close to 70 last night..
Cleora costiplaga (Geometridae, Ennominae) - Cleora are a real nightmare genus with so many variations so this ID is tentative but looks reasonable.
Maxates orthodesma (Geometridae, Geometrinae) - a regular visitor to the sheet although never common. Nice to see a fresh individual
Argyrogamma signata (Noctuidae; Plusiinae) - before April this year I had not recorded this species but it has become a regular feature on the sheet the last few weeks
Scriptoplusia rubiflabellata (Noctuidae; Plusiinae) - as with the previous species this was new to me this year, it has appeared a few times in the last couple of months.
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Old Sunday 24th June 2018, 04:51   #34
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A few more from last night:
Cryptaspasma (Tortricidae; Olethreutinae) - not certain that this is the correct genus for this but it looks similar to other members of the genus that I have caught before.
Esthlodora variabilis (Erebidae; Hypeninae) - a rare visitor to the sheet, this is just the second time I have caught variabilis, I catch cyanospila more regularly
Gymnoscelis lophopus (Geometridae; Larentiinae) - pugs....need I say more! A nightmare group over here
Lyclene quadrilineata (Erebidae; Arctiinae; Lithosiini) - a slightly variable species, as well as an exceedingly common one!
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Old Tuesday 26th June 2018, 00:20   #35
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Hit a milestone over the weekend 800+ species in the garden for the year, normally reach this in late September / early October so bodes well for breaking the 1000 in a year mark - current record 932ish last year but I have a fair bit of work to do still so 2017 will probably reach the 1000+ mark as well eventually!
Here are a few from last night:
Chrysocraspeda cruoraria (Geometridae; Sterrhinae) - an occasional visitor to the sheet, and a highly variable one at that! This is the most regular form that I catch but others can have large diffuse yellow markings on both the forewings and hindwings
Cophanta funestalis (Noctuidae; Acontiinae) - a new species for me
Gonitis involuta (Erebidae; Scoliopteryginae) - involuta is a regular visitor to the sheet but I have never caught one with such obvious black stigma on the forewing
Homodes bracteigutta (Erebidae; Boletobiinae) - a regular visitor to the sheet
Pelagodes veraria (L) and Thalassodes pilaria (R) (Geomteridae, Geometrinae) - two virtually identical species but nice to have the dots at the end of the viens on the hindwing of the Thalassodes reasonably obvious in this individual
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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2018, 03:58   #36
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Wow what an amazing few days. Our Dry season / winter is normally quite quiet with a good night reaching 40ish species but the last week or so we have had regular rain and despite the nocturnal temperature barely getting above 13oC which for us is cold, this has resulted in most nights having 80+ species on the sheet and then Sunday night an astonishing 120+ species turned up (currently on 122 with another 30+ that I am still working on).
The thread will probably go quiet now until August as my wife returns from a 16 week stint away from home and has only got 17 days off before she starts a new job working in extremely isolated communities in East Arnham Land (the massive area between Kakadu NP and the Gulf of Carpentaria and then family members who I have not seen in six years are over for a couple of weeks!
I will be back...
Daona detersalis (Erebidae; Boletobiinae) - just one of the ten new species that I have caught in the last week...
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Old Saturday 4th August 2018, 01:31   #37
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I am back as life returns to normal. The trap has had its moments in the last month, the nights are still in tropical terms quite cold but I have still managed to add a fair few new species both to my year list (which currently stands at 851) and my garden list.
This was from last night and is only the second time I have recorded this species, the first time being in February 201.
Atacira olivaceiplaga (Euteliidae; Euteliinae)
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Old Monday 6th August 2018, 00:41   #38
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A few more from the last few weeks
Amraica debrunnescens (Geometridae; Ennominae) - normally quite a regular feature during the Wet this was only the second individual I have caught this year.
Rusicada combinans (Erebidae; Calpinae) - a regular visitor to the sheet throughout the year
Asarta ANIC10 (Pyralidae; Phycitinae) - a regular visitor to the sheet in small numbers throughout the year. Has taken me several months to track down a potential ID for this. It is a good match for specimens labelled as ANIC10 on BOLD
Dysgonia solomonensis (Erebidae; Erebinae) - a regular visitor to the sheet, although usually the specimens are very worn so was pleased to find this one in very good condition
Episparis angulatilinea (Erebidae; Pangraptinae) - an annual visitor to the sheet with usually about ten in a year.
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Old Monday 6th August 2018, 00:49   #39
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Ophiusa tirhaca (Erebidae; Erebinae) - one of six species within the Ophiusa / Thyas complex that I record in the garden.
Pachynoa xanthochyta (Crambidae, Spilomelinae) - without doubt this regular visitor is one of my favourite Spilomelinae that I catch in the garden (out of the 160+ of Spilomelinae that I have recorded) and with a wingspan of 4cm it is also one of the larger species!
Stictoptera pammeces (Euteliidae; Stictopterinae) - this species was new to the garden in 2018 and this is the thrid individual that I have caught
Sypna buruensis (Erebidae; Erebinae) - a new species for both me and the garden.
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Old Monday 6th August 2018, 00:53   #40
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Aside from the moths there has been a noticable increase in the number of beetles particularly Cerambycidae coming to the sheet. If I though the resources for moths were bad the ones for these guys is even worse unless you have a few hundred dollars to spare and can purchase the excellent guide to Australian Cerambycidae...I cant quite stretch to this so most remain unidentified even down to genus but here are two that I have caught recently that I have got provisional IDs for
Kurandanus maculosus (Slipinski & Escalona 2016) and Rhytiphora bankii
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2018, 02:43   #41
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A few from last night
Coscinocera hercules (Saturniidae) - always a pleasure to catch these. As with 99% of my records this is a male (have only caught a single female in four years). This is my eight male of the year to date.
Euproctis actor (Lymantriidae) - a regular visitor to the sheet and one of the more readily identifiable members of this genus
Psilogramma menephron nebulosa (Sphingidae) - last night was the first night for several weeks where I have got into double figures of Sphingidae there were 13 individuals of three species. The commonest being menephron nebulosa with eight. One of the most regular Spingidae occuring regularly throughout the year
Arrhenes dschilus iris (Hesperiidae) - the Scrub Darter or Iris Skipper. Nominally a new species for the garden but I tend to only check the butterflies that come to the sheet so it is probably regular here.
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2018, 12:20   #42
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Thanks as always. But specifically, the Hercules Moth is pretty special!

All the best
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Old Tuesday 7th August 2018, 23:09   #43
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Dom

Thanks as always. But specifically, the Hercules Moth is pretty special!

All the best
Hi Paul.
Yes they are indeed very special - never a dull night when you catch one of these guys, on one memorable occasion I had two on the sheet and another flying around!
This one had a narrow escape, I had not closed our screen door properly when I went out to check the trap and came back to find Odin, my miniature Dachshund "playing" with it! I removed it before there was any major damage other than the loss of a tip to its tail!
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Old Wednesday 8th August 2018, 23:09   #44
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The undoubted highlight of the night and this week was this Erebus crepuscularis (Erebidae; Erebinae) that appeared ona palm tree close to the light last night. With a wingspan of close to 12cm it is a sizeable beast and not one that I catch regularly, this is my first since June 2017
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Old Thursday 23rd August 2018, 02:33   #45
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There will be a prolonged gap between posts here as i am in the process of moving to remote North Arnhem land. Once.there i am not sure what trapping opportunities there will be once moved as we are moving into government housing
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Old Thursday 23rd August 2018, 12:53   #46
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Really hope you keep on trapping. Love this thread - fabulous moths. Wish my mothing was as glamorous in my suburban garden in Newcastle. Any pics of other insects/snakes you get are great too.
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Old Monday 29th October 2018, 00:09   #47
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Aaaahhh our frieght has gone missing...no moth traps....no wine glasses...drinking direct from the bottle is not elegent!
New garden is very small and not suitable for the MVs but have a smaller gecko type light that I will use if it ever turns up....most interesting nocturnal sighting so far in the two weeks we have been herebeing a large, and rather aggressive buffalo wandering down the road...think my nocturnal wanderings may be slightly restricted here!
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Old Wednesday 31st October 2018, 10:05   #48
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Do you know if there is anyone in Cairns who has a blacklight interest/setup? I've not been able to find anyone in Tasmania, Vic or ACT--I'm now in QLD and hoping to see a few Australian moths before I head home.
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Old Wednesday 31st October 2018, 11:10   #49
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Do you know if there is anyone in Cairns who has a blacklight interest/setup? I've not been able to find anyone in Tasmania, Vic or ACT--I'm now in QLD and hoping to see a few Australian moths before I head home.
Unfortunately not...had you been over four weeks ago would have said come round to mine but am now a fair way away from Cairns
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Old Sunday 4th November 2018, 03:50   #50
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Umm well my freight has arrived but not quite in the condition that it was dispatched (see photo one) insurance playing silly buggers as in some cases the item is not broken just completely missing and so they are questioning why I can't show them it...as a result there will be a further delay in my recommencing trapping as I now have to source new bulbs...not that easy here to say the least..
The second picture is of Lyssa macleayi (Uraniidae; Uraniinae) which with a wingspan of some 13cms is not exactly a small moth - this was caught in early October before the traps were packed up.
Luckily I do have a fair few more photos from this year that I have not posted so I will add a few more just to keep the thread going...
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