Puriri Moth from New Zealand we believe

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.

Leave a Comment