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Common Splendid Ghost Moth-female

Aenetus ligniveren

Description:

This beautiful moth had a wing span of about 70 mm. The fore wings were a beautiful rich green with patches of brown. Densely furry legs and thorax were brown making the moth at rest appear like a drying up leaf (pic 3). Eyes were low placed (pic 4) and antennae, short. The underside of the wing were a tawny pink (pic 5). This moth was seen near a barbeque area and was resting clinging to a wall. When gently coaxed off the wall, she started laying tiny spherical eggs ( Pic 6)

Habitat:

Spotted in a nature reserve with native trees.

Notes:

This was an amazing find for me. These moths emerge in the early part of Summer. They lay their eggs on barks of food plants made of many different species ( see reference) . The larvae bore straight into and down the trunk where they develop and rest through the day. They come out at night to feed and cover the tunnel opening with silk and chewed wood, forming a soft curtain similar to the one in this spotting http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/169... Males are slightly smaller ( 50 mm) and are mostly green with white markings. http://www1.ala.org.au/gallery2/v/Hepial... Family: Hepialidae

No species ID suggestions

10 Comments

ShannaB
ShannaB 5 years ago

Beautiful.

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 5 years ago

Lauren, I too thought that they sprayed their eggs out in flight but obviously not !!

LaurenZarate
LaurenZarate 5 years ago

Amazing! Another one! This one lays eggs instead of dropping them while in flight?

MartinL
MartinL 5 years ago

Thanks Leuba. I'd love to see these two. They are officially on my bucket list. I've been visiting Churchill Park while the coarse ti-tree is flowering, for buprestidae.

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 5 years ago

Thanks to you Martin - we're at the reserve near the Basin whenever possible. This was amazing, especially after Mark's Aenetus from a couple of nights before.

MartinL
MartinL 5 years ago

What a great series Leuba! A spectacular find.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Bring on the video... :)

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 5 years ago

Thanks all ! after tons of small brown, grey,yellow moths, this was such a wonderful find - I was so excited I took 37 shots including a video of the eggs coming out. Will post them soon.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Very nice series. This would be a very hard moth to spot in the bush. Love the last shot with eggs popping out. :-)

Great series!

LuisStevens
LuisStevens 5 years ago

Amazing find Leuba!

Victoria, Australia

Lat: -37.86, Long: 145.32

Spotted on Nov 7, 2013
Submitted on Nov 7, 2013

Reference

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