Spotted Owlet Moth
S1: dorsal
Ellura
Spotted Owlet Moth
S3: dorsal
 
    
Spotted Owlet Moth (Athetis tenuis)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)
Family: Owlet moth (:Noctuoidea Noctuidae Acronictinae)
Species: Spotted Owlet Moth (Athetis tenuis)
This Photo:     S2: dorsal

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee), and elsewhere
About 12mm long with 25mm wingspan. Filiform antennae, with no visible difference between the genders we can find.
A common moth found all over the country. Difficult to id though as it's relatively plain looking and very shiny in a camera flash.
In the middle of their forewings they have a small dark spot or line within a slightly pale longitudinal line which can also have some pale spots toward the rear. In the right light you can see an irregular lateral row of dots about 3/4 along the forewing. In the same light, some irregular spots form another zigzag line about 1/4 the way along the forewing.
The feature that stands out the most are the 3 scale tufts on the back of the thorax that look like a shield. These are not clear on pinned specimens but can be seen in the photo's here. This scale formation is not unique to this species, but did help in collating different specimen photo's.
The ventral view shows an interesting pattern under the hindwings (which are quite a bit shorter than the forewings). They are pale off white, with dark speckles on the leading edge, fading to plain quickly towards the inner margin.
Note the robust palps and huge hind legs! For such a plain moth, it has some very interesting features

We have found them in Mar, May & Sep.

Copyright © 2017- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 24-May-2017
This species is a South Australian Native Species, not listed in the Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.