Tufted Goat Moth
S1: Ventral
Ellura
Goat Moth
Female, anterior
 
    
Goat Moth (Endoxyla cf amphiplecta)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)
Family: Goat Moth (:Cossoidea Cossidae)
Species: Goat Moth (Endoxyla cf amphiplecta)
This Photo:     Female, profile

Thank you Ethan Beaver for identifying this species for us

Thank you Mark Ridgeway for helping with the identification of this species

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee)
Marie found this large moth being attacked by small ants. Unsure of what was going on, we put her in a container, but couldn't get the ants off (being those tiny minute ones). Brought her back to the van and found eggs in the container. Using tweezers we got the ants off, which gave her some relief. Realising she was gravid took her out into a big pot full of local soil. She immediately started to push her ovipositor into the soil and "rippled" as she pushed eggs out (we assume). Clearly she can't fly, but has wings. A more technical term for reduced winged, flightless insects is "Brachypterous".
Finding the female takes a keen observer and is a rare find, while males are not so rare. A very worn and battered specimen making 100% identification impossible. But given her body & head size of about 60mm and being in SA, E. amphiplecta seems to fit the best. She's not as dirty as she looks; the "dirt" is actually her only remaining scales she has left. Her damaged wings were about 25mm long, body width approx 10mm, giving a wingspan of ~60mm.
Since Ethan id'ed the female, we found a male of what we think is this species. Again, it's difficult to be sure with this genus and the amount of wear they endure; possibly extracting themselves from the pupal tube.
The male is about 26mm long, about 45mm wingspan (under half her size).

Copyright © 2017- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 23-Feb-2017
This species is an Australian Native Species