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Hiding your colours

January 25, 2019

On these warm summer nights I have taken to walking Mac the dog late at night with a head-torch (that’s me wearing the torch not Mac ). It has revealed a wonderful world of critters, usually by having them slap you in the face as they swarm around the light.

One of the more striking moths seen recently, pictured left, sent me scurrying to the reference books to try and id it. It is a Fallen Bark Looper Moth (Gastrophora henricaria). The ‘looper’ term refers to the particular walking style of the caterpillar (see previous post).
 
 
The caterpillars feed on Eucalyptus and Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus) leaves. The Brush Box is a native of northern NSW / southern Queensland. Coincidentally a hitherto unknown bush on our property was, after 15 years, identified as a Brush Box earlier in the week (spooky!). It is currently flowering (pictured right) and is an absolute ‘wasp magnet’.

Macwake looked up the moth in Moths of Victoria Part 4 by Peter Marriott, and sent me the picture below from the accompanying CD. The moth in question is a male and its underwings are stunning.

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It’s a pity I didn’t know this at the time of taking the photo otherwise I would have poked it with a stick…only joking.

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