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Not at all drab

June 25, 2013
Moth 3

Sparshall’s Moth

Moths are sometimes thought of as rather drab and uninteresting creatures, but many of our native moths are in fact very attractive. A good example is this moth photographed recently on Three Sisters at Flowerdale. It is a Sparshall’s Moth (Trichiocercus sparshalli), identified as a male by the long white tufts of hair on its abdomen (see photo below). It’s coming to the end of its flying time, which peaks in April/May and again October/November.

Moth 2Moth 1

 
 
 

Sparshall's Moth larvae Photo courtesy of P. Carwardine and Peter Marriott

Sparshall’s Moth larvae
Photo courtesy of P. Carwardine and Peter Marriott

The strikingly patterned caterpillars (see photo at left) feed on most eucalypts and sometimes even on she-oaks and tea-trees. They are gregarious when young, but become solitary when close to maturity.

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