The jury is still out on the correct identification of this particular moth. Thanks to the helpful staff at the Museum of Victoria, I am now on a mission to locate another one and this time, I'll check the colour of the hindwing - provided I can make a distinction between yellow and red!
Today, however, I bought the Hawk Moth a present of 2 more Coprosmas. It may have already bred this season but it will have three Coprosma plants to choose from next breeding season.
I also intend to patrol the grapevines growing close by prior to any further spraying and should I find any caterpillars, I will save a few.
I have tentatively identified this moth as Gnathothlibus eras.
If I am correct, then the find is exciting because according to Zborowski and Edwards - A Guide To Australian Moths, it is only found in Eastern Victoria.
The larvae of this moth apparently feed on Vitaceae and I am in a wine producing district.
I will, however, seek an expert opinion regarding correct identification and may add some more photos later. I was unable to get a clear shot of the moth's head because I had to scale a ladder to get this shot!
I’ve managed to glimpse the Yellow Admiral (Vanessa itea) twice over the past few days. My last sighting of this butterfly was on the 29th August, last year.
Friday the 1st February was a warm, sunny day with no wind. At 3.05pm, one flew past me at about waist height. At about 10.50am, on 3/2 probably the same butterfly flew past. The weather was warm, overcast and a slight wind.
Until I find what this butterfly is feeding on, the likelihood of my obtaining a photo is extremely remote. I do, however, have a larval host food plant, Baby’s Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii) nearby which I am watching like a hawk.
I am quite surprised, if not concerned at the small number of Common Grass-blues (Zizina labradus) around. This time last year, there were heaps.
The Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) is way down in numbers this year as well. I have quite a few host food plants this butterfly likes, but there is no indication of egg or caterpillar activity that I am able to detect. Very few moths to be seen. There are a few of the minute ones around, but as yet, I have been unable to photograph them. I saw one vine moth (Phalaenoides glycinae) at about 7pm on 3/2/08.
If I am able to learn one new thing each day in the vast field of entomology, I shall be content. Since I began this Blog, I believe I am achieving my mission. Memo to experienced entomologists: If you find an incorrect identification, could you please set the record straight! All comments will be published and you will be aiding me in my pursuit of knowledge!
This site is a diary of sorts as an ongoing record of butterflies and moths found in my area of Victoria, Australia, but I will also include other insects.
I became interested in butterflies and moths in 2005. In June last year, I decided to undertake a long-term lay study into populations, nectar and larvae host plants, specifically for butterflies but the odd moth is getting in on the act!
Unfortunately, I've noted a decline in butterfly populations in and around my garden over the past two years.
In 2005, common species such as the Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi) and the Caper White (Belenois java) were in large numbers.
I noticed a decline in butterfly numbers in 2006.
In 2007, they were well down. The Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) may still be recorded as common, but numbers are well down for that butterfly, too.
The Common Grass-blue (Zizina labradus) is well-represented, but by no means prolific this season.
Much of my learning experience has been due to the following:-
I am a recently retired small-scale primary producer.
I've been a keen nature (and animal behaviour) observer for most of my life but now I have the time to direct my energy towards learning much more about the fauna and flora around me.
I'm a keen photographer and I credit the invention of digital photography steering me onto the path I am now so enjoying!