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Australian Moths 2018 (1 Viewer)

Atropos

Well-known member
Thanks Andy, will have a look at Surfbirds - had forgotten about it!
Marriots is I think five volumes and not sure about availability or price although I have at the back of my mind a recollection that it might be out on disc but not sure. Have not worried myself as I am so far from Victoria that the Moths of Borneo would be more useful but they are well outside my price range!
 

Atropos

Well-known member
What a difference some rain makes - over night was warmer (still low teens so for us not exactly hot but an improvement) but most importantly there was light rain throughout the night...end result 90+ species on the sheet not bad for the Dry season.
Amphitorna lechriodes (Drepanidae; Drepaninae) - only the second time I have caught this Drepanid, the last time being in May 2017
Cerura multipunctata (Notodontidae; Notodontinae) - a very distinctive Notodont, an irregular visitor to the sheet with a handful of records each year
Oxyodes tricolor (Erebidae; Erebinae) - one of the most varied moths that I catch On good nights I can catch 10+ individuals all of which look very different...
Utetheisia aegrotum (Erebidae; Arctiinae) - another varied species, these are all from last night
 

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Atropos

Well-known member
Still cool at nights, particularly when there is no cloud but given the state of the moon there is still a fair bit of interest in the sheet.
Arescoptera idiotypa (Pyralidae; Pyralinae) - only the second time I have caught this diminuitive Pyralid, the first time being in 2016. A highly variable species with the colour of the bands varying from green through to brown and black
Eudocima salamina (Noctuidae; Calpinae) - without doubt my favourite member of the genus
Etanna breviuscula (L) and Etanna basalis (R) (Nolidae; Chloephorinae) - Etanna are a regular feature on the sheet and as they are such varied species I often leave them to deal with at some nebulous time in the future but the last few nights have tried to rectify that. E. breviscula is by far the most common of the genus and is exceedingly variable, basalis though seems to be the only species to show these bold white markings!
Oxycophina theorina (Thyrididae; Siculodinae) - this large Thyrid is a regular feature on the sheet at this time of year, but can turn up in almost any month
Oxyodes scrobiculata (Erebidae; Erebinae) - an almost daily visitor to the sheet turning up on proibably 90% of the nights I set the trap
 

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Atropos

Well-known member
The Dry season is such an odd time of year over here, with seemingly no real difference in weather conditions or temperatures you can go from 100+ species in a night to under 25 the next night. As a rule in June - August I turn the trap off at midnight unless there has been a few things of note already in which case I leave it on until 0530ish...
Here are a few from the last week or so...
Polypogon fractalis (Erebidae; Herminiinae) - a regular feature on the sheet throughout both the Wet and Dry seasons
Squamipalpis pantoea (Erebidae; Herminiinae) - a new species for me this week
Scriptoplusia rubiflabellata (Noctuidae; Plusiinae) - another new species for me this week
Trichoplusia lectula (Noctuidae; Plusiinae) - an occasional visitor to the sheet, always a pleasure to see.
Syneora lithina (Geometridae, Ennominae) - this is close to specimens labeled as EF02 on BOLD; lithina is a rare visitor to the sheet with just a couple of records a year
 

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Atropos

Well-known member
A few more from the last week, so far the 2018 garden list stands at 769 species - total 1300+ in the garden in the last 24 months.
Euproctis subnobilis (Erebidae; Lymantriinae) - one of the more recognisable members of this genus, a regular if infrequent visitor to the sheet
Hemonia micrommata (Erebidae; Arctiinae) - a regular and highly variable visitor to the sheet throughout the year
Imma platyxantha (Immidae) - commonest member of this genus that I catch, none are particularly common and can appear at any time of year
Carminibotys sp (Crambidae; Pyraustinae) - there only seems to be a single member of this genus that has been formally described and this does not match it!
Uresiphita insulicola (Crambidae; Pyraustinae) - I catch this genus regularly but if they are not obliging and allow me to see the hindwing determing species is very difficult. Of the ones that I can ID to species level insulicola is by far the less frequent of the two with probably fewer than 10 definite records a year
 

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lincsbirder

Well-known member
Out of interest what bulb are you using?. Those Hawks look amazing. Really like this thread please keep posting. Thankyou
 

Atropos

Well-known member
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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Atropos

Well-known member
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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Atropos

Well-known member
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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Britseye

Well-known member
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?
 

Atropos

Well-known member
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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Britseye

Well-known member
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.
 

Atropos

Well-known member
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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Atropos

Well-known member
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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Atropos

Well-known member
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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Atropos

Well-known member
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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Atropos

Well-known member
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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Atropos

Well-known member
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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Atropos

Well-known member
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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Atropos

Well-known member
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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