Wednesday, 7 May 2008


Oenochroma vinaria caterpillars!

During April last year, my grevilleas were hosts to a number of caterpillars. Of course, we had over 100mm of rain up to and including April. This year, our rainfall total is only 63mm and I believe this has affected breeding.

Oenochroma vinaria is a very common moth throughout most of Australia and I wonder how common it will remain in my area, if, as we are being warned, the la Nina weather system has apparently weakened and another el Nino (drought producing) event appears to be taking hold again. The 12-year-plus drought has not even looked like breaking in the west and north-western districts of Victoria.
This particular moth will be only one of many invertebrates to suffer decline in populations over some sectors of Victoria, due to climate change, in my opinion.

I took the opportunity to take a couple of photos of the very colourful Heliotrope Moth (Utetheisa pulchelloides) as it warmed itself on a flywire screen this morning. This moth is a member of the Tiger Moth family (Arctiidae) and has a wingspan of around 3cm. U pulchelloides is a day flier and has been present in my garden, on and off, since January this year.

This one was approximately 2cm in length.

(Click to enlarge)

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