Friday, January 30, 2009

A Mega Moth

As a child I was always getting in trouble for leaving the light on at night.
It wasn't that I was afraid of the dark.
It was that I found if I left the fly screen slightly ajar I could find moths caught there for study in the morning.
Once in a while I would capture a monster of the moth world. The ones with the "eyes" on the wings were particularly fascinating.

The moth photographed below wasn't overly pretty, though it was reasonably large
(around 120mm head to wing end).
Perhaps the largest I have seen in a while.

I have no open wing shots, as it would have required damaging the creature to get them. Never an option.

I have looked on the CSIRO site do deal with all things "mothy", though couldn't get a good ID.
For those of you who share a fascination of these creatures, interesting none the less.


  1. Hi David
    Aren't Moths amazing creatures? Usualy soooo hairy. Yours is a big one. I shall ask the Mothy people on a new email forum to have a look at your site, and advise.
    I do know that some of these things form their chrysalises (?) on the sides of buildings and trees, and that the needle-like spines on them in the caterpillar stage protrude through the shell of the casing. So, even in their metamorphosising stage they are protected. The sites all mention danger for sensitive skin. etc.
    In the Riverina they have "Bardi Grubs" (which the Murray Cod fishermen love) which develop into huge moths, like yours. I once saw one which was flying in and out of the Deniliquin RSL Club, at night, because it was big enough to trip the movement sensor above the door.
    I do know there is a very hairy caterpillar which feeds on the "White Cedar" tree (native to the south coast), which forms those spiky chrysalises on the side of buildings. So that might be it.
    I shall do some digging aorund and get back to you.

  2. Hi David. Try "White Stemmed Gum Moth" (a reference to Gum Trees with white stems). Chelepteryx collesi
    Also at this site
    This is a different moth from the one I mnentioned before as a possibility.
    This one is probably more likely.

  3. Hi David
    This one is probably closer.
    It is called the Wattle Goat Moth, and live underground at one stage, and emerge leaving an opened "shell" at ground level - big enough to put your little finger in.

  4. Hello David,

    Denis asked me to drop by and have a look at your Cossid. The peacock-blue lines along the thorax indicate it's Endoxyla encalypti. I got one on Thursday night, only mine was much smaller than yours. Around 6.5cm head to tail.

  5. Hi guys,
    Thankx for the ID.



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