Subject: Flightless moth?
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
April 1, 2015 9:49 pm
We found this gorgeous furry moth outside in garden today. It appeared to have deformed wings, but after abit of googling, I wonder, could it be a flightless moth? It seems to have a smooth hard pink sort of plate on the top of it’s head. I’d be interested to know what moth it is, and what kind of caterpillar it is, too, as a couple of months ago my young son picked up “something” which filled his fore finger and thumb with about 100 fine spines. We never found what it was, but suspected a caterpillar. He found it in the same spot we found this moth today! Thanks for your help!
Signature: Furry moth lover
Further information re this moth, the season here is now autumn.
Hello again! I just came outside to see if the moth was still where we left it, and to my surprise, it had set of full length wings! So, it must have only just emerged from its cocoon. I’ve attached a couple of more pictures. A very stylish set of wings, I think! Thanks, Astrid
Thanks for the additional images. They were very helpful. At first we thought this might be a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, but that was not the case. We eventually identified it on Butterfly House as Boisduval’s Autumn Moth, Oenosandra boisduvalii, a member of the related Snub Moth family Oenosandridae. Your individual is a female, and this is a highly sexually dimorphic species where the sexes actually look like totally different species. There is no mention of the caterpillars having utricating spines. The Atlas of Living Australia indicates that this is a southern species.
Thank you for your fast response. I have never noticed this particular moth before, but I will keep an eye out in future. By it’s name, it seems that this is just the right time of year to see them. The info on it says the larvae feed on eucalyptus leaves, so, I assume it’s a native, too, and not an introduced species. We certainly have plenty if eucalyptus trees and leaves everywhere. Thanks again!