whats that moth
Location: Horsfield Bay NSW
December 17, 2010 3:27 am
Found this very large moth in our garden today, we live near Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast.
Signature: Gayle D

Orchard Swallowtail

Hi Gayle,
The Orchard Swallowtail,
Papilio aegeus, in your photo is actually a butterfly.  There is a very nice page devoted to the stages of development on the Brisbane Insect website which indicates that your specimen is a female.  According to Oz Animals:  “The male Orchard Swallowtail has black forewings with an arc of white spots near the tip. The hindwings have a white panel and single small red spot above. The underside of the male wings are black with red and blue spots. The female has black and white forewings and hindwings. The hindwings have blue and white markings.

Hi Daniel
Thankyou for the reply, my husband had heard somewhere that the difference between a butterfly and moth was the way the wings stood up on a butterfly and laid flat on a moth, hence our confusion.
I must admit I have never seen a butterfly so big, my boys and I were quite amazed.  Is it common for it to be so far south of Qld?
Gayle Downey

Hi again Gayle,
Though we are not certain exactly how common it is further south, the range is indicated on Csiro.

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