S14: Female, artefact
S7: Female, Body, profile
|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Order:||Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)|
|Family:||Geometer (:Geometroidea Geometridae)|
|Species:||Bronze Nearcha (Nearcha sp)|
|This Photo:||S7: Female, Hindwings|
Thank you Peter Marriott for identifying this species for us
Thank you Marilyn Hewish for helping with the identification of this species
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee)
Marilyn kindly let us know this wasn't an Amelora. Peter then said "Taxeotis only have threadlike antennae - females and males - see MoV 4 on page 15. So it is 99% likely to be Nearcha - males pectinate on both sides and females threadlike". As such, it is most likely an undescribed species. We found & captured 15 specimens of this species in one night; equally males & females. They were quite variable and photo artefacts played havoc. eg notice the white spots hide easily depending on the camera/lighting angle. The bronze colour also washed out easily in flash light.
The females we found appeared to have stronger markings than males; this is not always the case.
These beautiful moths range from plain, pale brown to a magic bronze colour. We have grouped the photo's by male & female, to show differences between specimens. Hopefully differences between gender also stand out clearly.
Males are about 10mm long, with wingspan of 25mm. Female bodies are a bit shorter at about 8mm long, but with the same wingspan as the male. The under-wings don't appear much different between the genders, but the ventral shots show the significant difference in the body shapes; with males being long & thin while females are short & fat.
Also notice the antennae differences; males have feathery (bipectinate) antennae while females are thread like (filiform); a common situation for moths. This implies the females emit pheromones that attract males. While often males are attracted to night light, it's possible here the females were and the males followed the scent; or they could both be attracted to the light.