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Magnificent moth

March 26, 2020

While checking for deer damage to our revegetation plantings, we came across this large and strikingly patterned moth clinging to a tree guard. Our moth guru Peter Marriott, author/joint author of the wonderful series of books Moths of Victoria, kindly identified it as a female Magnificent Ghost Moth, Abantiades magnificus.

The Ghost Moth family, Hepialidae, includes some of the largest moths in Victoria, with females of one genus reaching up to 25 cm wingspan – the moth pictured at left would be about 16 cm across and the male a bit smaller at about 12 cm. The Ghost Moths are also known as Swift Moths or Rain Moths, as they often emerge from their pupal stage in the ground after rain. The larvae are commonly called Bardi grubs.
The Magnificent Ghost Moth pictured at right shows the male above and the female below. These images were reproduced with permission from Moths of Victoria (Part 6 Ghost Moth – Hepialidae and Allies) by Axel Kallies with Peter Marriott and Marilyn Hewish, published by the Entomological Society of Victoria 2015.

This was apparently the first sighting of this species in our area and the distribution map has now been altered slightly to include Strath Creek.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Zanni permalink
    April 28, 2020 1:42 pm

    I always assumed these guys were Bogong moths! Thanks for that 🙂

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