Currently viewing the category: "Ghost Moths and Wood Moths"

Subject”  Giant moth to be identified
Geographic location of the bug:  Kangaroo Ground, Victoria
Date: 02/08/2021
Time: 05:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This was on a tree in our yard yesterday 8 Feb 2021. It has been an unusually mild summer, with lower temperatures than usual. And last year we had more rain than usual. We wonder if this is a Giant Wood Moth, even though we are in Victoria. Photos include a closeup of the wings, a photo side-on showing environmental context and relative size to my husband who is 6’4″ tall (in which you should be able to see the striped body of the moth), and a photo of the remains of a cocoon on the same tree from which we believe it emerged. Hopefully this helps.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you

Giant Wood Moth

We agree that this is a Giant Wood Moth, Endoxyla cinereus, and according to Butterfly House:  “The caterpillars pupate in their borehole. When the adult moth emerges, the empty pupal skin is left sticking out of the hole” as your one image illustrates.  According to Australian Museum:  “The Giant Wood Moth is the heaviest moth in the world, with some females weighing up to 30 grams.”

Exuvia of a Giant Wood Moth

Subject:  Giant Wood Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  South East Queensland
Date: 01/19/2020
Time: 03:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this a giant wood month? I measured my finger spread when I got home and it’s about 150mm! What’s the record length for a moth?
How you want your letter signed:  Mal

Giant Wood Moth

Dear Mal,
You are correct that this is a Giant Wood Moth,
Endoxyla cinereus, and if you examine your image, you will see the exuvia of the pupa in a hole in the tree trunk at the bottom edge of your image.  According to Butterfly House:  “The caterpillars pupate in their borehole. When the adult moth emerges, the empty pupal skin is left sticking out of the hole.”

Subject:  Large moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Liverpool area in Sydney
Date: 12/11/2019
Time: 03:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can anyone please identify this large moth seen near my work, it’s body is about 10 cm long. Thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Allan

Giant Wood Moth

Dear Allan,
This is a Giant Wood Moth and we receive several submissions from Australia each year at this time.

Subject:  What is this moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Newport Queensland
Date: 11/30/2019
Time: 10:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Good afternoon I found this moth on our back patio this morning. It’s large in size. Not sure what it’s called. Would be very interested in knowing what type it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Regards Rach

Giant Wood Moth

Dear Rach,
This looks to us like a Giant Wood Moth,
Endoxyla cinereus, and according to Butterfly House:  “The males are only half the size of the females, and have a wingspan up to 11 cms.”

Subject:  Giant Wood Moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Black Rock, Melbourne
Date: 12/10/2018
Time: 04:32 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I think these are Endoxyla cinereus, and I assume they are mating? Some students of mine found these in the school playground – absolutely fascinated. The CSIRO page still doesn’t show it as present in Victoria, so perhaps it is something else?
How you want your letter signed:  Andrew P

Mating Wood Moths

Dear Andrew,
We agree that these are mating Wood Moths in the family Cossidae, but we cannot confirm the exact species with any certainty.  We often have trouble differentiating members of this family, and we also confuse members of this family with the Ghost Moths or Swift Moths in the family Hepialidae, which are pictured on Butterfly House.  While we would not rule out that this might be
Endoxyla cinereus, which is pictured on Butterfly House, we can state that it really resembles the individual we posted earlier today that we believe is a Wattle Goat Moth, Endoxyla encalypti.

Mating Wood Moths

Subject:  Unidentified large Australian Moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Recliffe Peninsua, Queensland, Australia
Date: 12/09/2018
Time: 07:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I snapped this beauty outside a fish and chip shop on the weekend, taking a rest on a kerb, which would make it about 15cm from front legs to wing tips. I have no idea what sort it is, though, and haven’t seen one before. Can you help? It would be good to put a name to the face, as it were.
How you want your letter signed:  Joshua

Wattle Goat Moth, we believe

Dear Joshua,
This appears to be one of the Wood Moths or Goat Moths in the family Cossidae, possibly the Wattle Goat Moth,
Endoxyla encalypti, which is pictured on Butterfly House where it states:  “The adult moths have forewings that are speckled grey and brown with indistinct light and dark streaks. The hindwings are reddish-brown at the base, fading to grey-brown at the margins. The wingspan is around 10 cms.  The thorax of the adult moth has an uncanny likeness to the head of a mouse! The ‘eyes’ of the mouse are the thicker parts of the bluish lines running on either side of the thorax, located just behind the real eyes.”

Thanks Daniel. The wingspan of this individual was definitely greater than 10cm, but that does look a very close match. Appreciate the help!
Josh