Currently viewing the category: "Ghost Moths and Wood Moths"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Green, large Moth.
February 21, 2010
This thing careened into my kitchen last night and started laying eggs. It’s about 5 inches in length. The photos are a better description than I could ever give.
Northcote, Auckland, New Zealand

Puriri Moth

Hi Nina,
Though there is considerable variation in the markings based on photographs online, we are confident that this is the Puriri Moth or Ghost Moth, Aenetus virescens.  There are many Maori names for the largest moth native to New Zealand, and found only on the North Island.  These names include pepe tuna, mokoroa, ngutara and pungoungou according to the Insects and Spiders of New Zealand website which includes the following facts:  “is the largest moth in Aotearoa / New Zealand, and is found only on Te Ika a Māui / North Island;  relatives live in Australia, New Caledonia, and Papua New Guinea;  caterpillars start life living in a bracket fungus;  older caterpillars make a refuge tunnel in the trunk of a large tree;  caterpillars feed on the wound tissue of the tree around the tunnel entrance, which is concealed by a silken ‘tent’;  pupation occurs in the tunnel;  adult moths do not feed, and live only for a few days;  moths are active at night.”  The New Zealand Farm Forestry Association website has wonderful photos of the life cycle, including caterpillar images.  The New Zealand Tramper website has an image of a living moth that more closely resembles your photograph than most of the other online images, though it has more markings than your specimen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What type of bug is this?
December 18, 2009
Hi, my husband found this bug crawling up his leg. After his initial shock he snapped a photo. We were camping on the Nullabour Plain, South Australia. The climate there is very dry and hot, with little vegitation and very little water. The bug was about 40mm in length. It would be great to put a name to this amazing bug.
Nullabor Plain, South Australia

Unknown Newly Metamorphosed Moth

Newly Metamorphosed Wood Moth

Hi Jackie,
This is a newly metamorphosed Moth whose wings have not yet expanded.  We believe it may be a Tiger Moth in the family Arctiidae, but we are not certain.  Perhaps one of our readers can supply a species identification.

Update:  May 12, 2015
We just received a comment that this appears to be
Endoxyla amphiplecta, or a related species and the image on ButterflyHouse looks very similar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Large Green New Zealand Moth
September 28, 2009
Hi, This moth greeted me on the steps to my house when I returned from work. Most likely it was there when I went to work. It is still early spring here.
You can see one wing in the photo. The other is wrapped onto the opposite side and held near the belly. The body is full, long, and thick, and the tail end can be seen poking out of the bottom of the wings.
Pictures were taken with a 8mp camera on tulip setting. When you zoom in you can see the water droplets and the hairs. It is very cool looking.
When it became dark it flew away. It was about 5cm long. Please let me know the name.
Kind Regards,
Eastbourne New Zealand (Near Wellington)

Unknown Green Moth from New Zealand

Puriri Moth from New Zealand

Hi MarkcNZ,
This is an impressive moth.  Over the years, we have properly identified two green moths from New Zealand and Australia, but this appears to represent yet a different species.  The markings are somewhat similar to a Geometrid, Tatosoma tipulata, that we posted in May, but it is obviously different.  Several times, we have posted images of moths in the genus Aenetus, from the family Hepialidae, known as Ghost Moths or Swift Moths.  That is our best guess and possibilities are posted on an Australian Lepidoptera page.  We started to follow that thought, and we found a species Aenetus virescens, known as the Puriri Moth, that Wikipedia calls:  “New Zealand’s largest native moth.
”  We also located an image on Flickr.  We are confident that the identification is correct despite variations in the markings from image to image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Is this a Bogan moth?
Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 5:27 AM
Came home tonight during the rain, found this little bird shaking its wings in the corner. It was very dark, and I initially thought it was a bit of plastic shaking in the wind, except there was no wind.
I’ve seen many big moths, we are in a bogan migration path apparently (Canberra Australia) but I’ve never anything this big before, and its tail seemed fatter than Im used to seeing. Just wanted to know if its size was unusual, and what type of moth it is.
Feel free to keep/use the pics if they’re interesting. I have a short movie clip of it shaking its wings, but its very dark.
Canberra Australia

Unknown Moth

Ghost Moth

Hi Ken,
While it looks vaguely Sphinxlike, we do not believe your moth is a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae. We did a cursory search on the Csiro Australian Moth site, but had no luck. We have found references to Bogan Moths being eaten in Australia, but the photos seem to be of widely differing species. We haven’t the time to more fully research your question right now, and it is our hope that some reader will provide an answer.

Unknown Moth

Comment: Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 6:50 PM
Try Hepialidae, a lot of Australian ones look like chubby awkward sphinx moths, maybe Abantiades sp.

We researched this on Csiro Entomology page  and found a likely Abantiades hydrographus and Abantiades marcidus.

Update:  August 5, 2012
We are trying to clean up some unidentified postings and we realized some of our previous links are no longer active.  We can link to a page on Ghost Moths from Australia on the Atlas of Living Australia website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

(05/14/2008) anaetus tegulatus
From your web site, I think this is anaetus tegulatus. I can’t find out much about her. I live near Albany, Western Australia (south western corner of the country). She seems to be mentioned in places like Queensland. Is she lost, or have I just not looked for the information in the right places? Can you tell me where I can find more information? Thanks,

hi Sindi,
Your identification of Aenetus tegulatus is correct, but the spelling in your letter is not. We don’t know if this sighting represents a range expansion, or if the information online is incomplete. At any rate, it is a beautiful green Australian moth.

Update: (05/15/2008) aenetus moth
Dear Daniel,
Sindi’s moth was seen in SW Western Australia. I am wondering if it might be Aenetus dulcis, which is found in WA and has green females, larvae living in Agonis. See Regards,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

moth found that i cannot identify
to whom it may concern, my name is nathan morello
in the early hours of this morning i found a large green moth, and after spending a few hours online i cannot identify it. it is approximately 3′ or 7.5cm long with a folded wingtip to wingtip span of about 2′ or 5cm. it is green ontop with 6 brownish/black spots on each dominant wing. the underside of the wings are pinkish with green edgings. i found it in the blue mountain range in nsw Australia. as stated i cannot find anything close to it online, no pictures or information. can you be of any assistance in identifying it or is it possible i have discovered a new species, and if by chance it is a new species how do i officially name it. thankyou your time and assistance yours sincerly
Nathan Morello

Hi Nathan,
A quick web search of green hawkmoths from Australia did not provide an answer for us. We will contact Bill Oehlke to see if he recognized your Sphinx or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae. Bill Oehlke wrote back: “Daniel, I don’t know what it is but am pretty sure it is not one of the Sphingidae. Bill Oehlke”. Then, while trying to identify another Australian Hawkmoth, we discovered this site devoted to Australian moths on stamps and an image of Aenetus tegulatus. A further google search produced actual photographs of the species and we are satisfied this is your moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination