Wood Moth
S4, Male, Antennae
Wood Moth
Wood Moth (Endoxyla amphiplecta)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)
Family: Wood Moth (:Cossoidea Cossidae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Wood Moth (Endoxyla amphiplecta)
This Photo:     S3, Male, ventral
Other name: Goat Moth

Thank you Ethan Beaver for identifying, Axel Kallies for confirming and Mark Ridgeway for helping with the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
1st Live Photo on-line:
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 ~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 ~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 has head & body ~26mm, wingspan ~45mm (under half her size).

Copyright © 2017-2024 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 14-Dec-2017
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.