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Emerald Moth

Thalassodes pilaria


With wings that are green, moths of this species are members of the group known as 'Emeralds'. Each wing has a faint darker band edged in white across the middle, and the hindwings each have an angular margin. In fact, apart from the colour, it was the angular wing shape that I noticed first, and unlike many other geometrid moth species which have scalloped wing margins, this one has straight margins. The wing span is about 3 cms. I have yet to find a common name for this species, other than Big Emerald (Cook Islands), but I don't now if this is a widely accepted name. Emerald Moth will suffice for now.


Spotted on a car windshield during daylight hours. This car park area is floodlit at night, so that really attracts the moths. Wetland area nearby. The species occurs naturally in Queensland, but also across the South Pacific basin, including Fiji, Cook Islands and French Polynesia, as well as PNG and Irian Jaya. The genus is widespread throughout Asia and India.


PS: There is a second, almost identical species worth considering for this spotting - Pelagodes veraria (previously known as Thalassodes veraria) - (#35). Common name for this one is Whitsunday Emerald Moth. However, from multiple images I have viewed online of this species, its wings colour is a vibrant green, and costa and cilia are a distinct golden yellow, whereas my spotting is a very subtle green, and a thin yellow stripe on the costa is barely discernible. Cilia is not yellow. Possibly an individual variation within the species?

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Lat: -27.45, Long: 153.10

Spotted on Feb 15, 2019
Submitted on Feb 16, 2019

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