Monday, 29 September 2008

September Mothing

(Click images to enlarge)

This is not a good image - it's really only suitable for my records, but I'm putting it up anyway. Don't be misled by this photo, the moth was more a light fawn colour.

I suspect it's Scopula perlata.
Subfamily: Sterrhinae

UPDATE: I've just received information that this moth might be Agrotis radians because of apparent white lines along the wing veins in my photo. The presence of white lines would separate A radians from A munda who don't have white lines. (Thanks MH)

Thanks to Mosura, I believe he is quite correct with his identification of this moth as Agrotis munda. The lava of this species is called the Brown or Pink Cutworm. It is a horticultural pest.
Subfamily: Noctuinae

I have no idea what this one is! :-) Any help would be gratefully received!
UPDATE: This moth may well be (Cymatophora) aspera. Brackets because there is some confusion regarding genus. Virtually nothing is published either in books or online regarding this species of moth. Thanks again, MH. :-)
Subfamily: Ennominae

This one does look a bit like Helicoverpa punctigera and/or H. armigera, the caterpillars of both are serious crop pests!
Subfamily: Heliothinae

All these moths were around 2cm in length.

Sunday, 28 September 2008


A couple of beetles got in on the act last night as I attempted some serious mothing. It was unusually warm and still till about 9.30pm when everything went pear-shaped as a strong south-westerly wind came roaring in.

I did manage a few moths and will post images as soon as I try to identify them.

(Click images to enlarge)

I think this is the African Black Beetle (Heteronychus arator) as it was quite smooth compared to a cousin, Adoryphoris coutonii. There is another way to distinguish between the two but the angle of this photo does not permit. Neither have a particularly good reputation around the horticultural traps! :-)

"Shall We Dance?"

This one crawled onto my mothing sheet. I am unable to identify it after wading through several sites including CSIRO, so if anyone knows, please advise. It might not even be a member of the Scarab family.

UPDATE: (Thanks Mosura.) CSIRO's description seems to fit this beetle like a glove. It is most likely to be Ormogus sp (Family: Trogidae)

Duncan can have his Carrion Beetles, I will enjoy my Carcass Beetles! :-)

Friday, 26 September 2008

A Moth, Caterpillar And A Spider

Well, at long last, some moths are starting to come in!

It was a warm night and the vinegar flies were on the wing.

I really don't know what this moth is, but it did behave like a a member of the family Tineodidae.

About 1.5cm in length, it's wings appeared to be held out at right angles and it held it's body up from the substrate. Simple antennae held at an angle from the head and it's forewings were pointed.

(Above information sourced from "A Guide To Australian Moths" by Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards.)

(Click images to enlarge)

I will check further when time allows.

Again, no idea what species this caterpillar belongs to. It's probably a pest.

It was one of about three I saw last night feeding on Poa labillardieri. It was approximately 3cm in length. When disturbed, it drops into the plant.

I had a good look through Don Herbison-Evans site (link on right of page) but couldn't immediately identify it. More homework required - unless somebody is familiar with it. Mosura? :-)

I think Mosura can take a bow! His excellent post on Eriophora pustulosa taught me to be a little more observant.

When I took this shot yesterday at around 1pm, I was almost tempted to look at Uloboridae because of the rather untidy web. This was one of about 3 spiders of the same species I saw all co-habitating in and around a few webs on the tree. Also, these spiders were active during the day, which, on reflection, is unlike any Eriophora species I have observed. Approximate length - 1cm.

It was only when I had the image enlarged on my computer screen that I noticed the projections on the abdomen which seem to indicate it's probably Eriophora pustulosa.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A Review Of Sorts

Yesterday, I picked up my copy of "Spiderwatch - A Guide To Australian Spiders" by Bert Brunet. (2008 Edition) It is available from

I had a quick look through it and am quite impressed. It's easy to digest for the rank amateur such as myself but would be suitable to the more advanced entomologist too. It's well illustrated with colour photos and drawings as well as identification guides.

It's full of good stuff including spider classification, anatomy, reproduction and where to find their favourite hiding places. I learnt that according to Brunet, Sparassids have been reclassified as Heteropodidae.

I believe it is a worthy addition to my entomology library.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Salticids Are Active!

I must confess, Salticids make it to No. 1 of my Favourite Spider list!

I spotted this one when I was watering some pot plants this afternoon.

Just over 1cm in length, I think it's Breda sp. Probably Breda jovialis.

B.jovialis is known as the "Australian Jumping Spider" and a very colourful spider it is. This spider is very active in the palp department, waving and shimmying palps every which way!

Don't you just love 'em? :-)

(Click image to enlarge)

Sunday, 14 September 2008

A Warm Spring Night.....

...and this plump Sparassid was on my downpipe, tucking into a quick snack!

I think it's Isopedella flavida with a definite glint in an eye! This species is large and they are known to utilize walls. I suspect this one is bedded down under some flashing on the south side of the house.

It allowed a couple of shots then nicked off to finish its prey in peace!

This is a large file so those on Dial-Up - be warned!

(click to enlarge)
Correction: Species is probably Isopeda leishmanni

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Lychas Anyone?

Family: Buthidae

Although there is some similarity between the Marbled Scorpion (Lychas variatus) and Lychas marmoreus, the Little Marbled Scorpion, I think this one is the latter.

Oh heck, it could be the former as L variatus is known in Western Victoria! :-)

(Click images to enlarge)

Total body length of this one was about 3cm (typical size of L marmoreus) and a prong is evident at the base of the stinger (telson). Both species have this.

There are around nine known species of Scorpion in Victoria.

I was stung by one of these little tackers a couple of years ago! A real burning sensation, which was quickly extinguished by inserting afflicted digit in iced water.