What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth ID
Location: Melbourne, Australia
February 9, 2016 4:09 am
Dear Bugman
Took a few pics of an unusually marked/colored moth at a local native parkland recently.
It might be a variety of Tiger Moth after looking at some pics on this site?
Would be pleased if you could verify.
Thanks
Signature: Alan Gardner

Mistletoe Moth

Mistletoe Moth

Dear Alan,
This one really gave us a challenge.  Though it really does resemble a Tiger Moth, it is actually an Owlet Moth in the family Noctuidae and the subfamily Agaristinae.  We found two very similar looking moths on Butterfly House, and we eliminated the Grapevine Moth,
Phalaenoides glycinae, and we believe this is a Mistletoe Moth, Comocrus behri , which is described on Butterfly House as:  “The adult moths have wings that are black with white straight and zigzag lines. The abdomen is black on top and has orange stripes underneath, and a scarlet tuft on the tail.  The adult is a day-flying moth, with a wingspan of up to 5 cm.”  According to Csiro:  “This species is widely distributed across southern mainland Australia and can often be seen during the day flying around mistletoe plants growing on Casuarina and Eucalyptus species. The adults have a wingspan or about 58 millimetres and are predominantly black with white bands or lines through the wings. Males display what is known as ‘hill topping’ behaviour, where they fly to the highest spot on the landscape so that females know to congregate there for mating.”  There are some very nice images on FlickR.

Mistletoe Moth

Mistletoe Moth

Hi Daniel
Thanks very much for your prompt response.
I hadn’t seen any kind of moth quite like this one and it had me intrigued.
Kind regards
Alan

Mistletoe Moth

Mistletoe Moth

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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