Bronze Heath Moth
S9: Male, dorsal
|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Order:||Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)|
|Family:||Geometer (:Geometridae Oenochrominae)|
|Species:||Bronze Heath Moth (Oenochrominae sp)|
|This Photo:||S6: Male, dorsal|
Thank you Peter Marriott & Ethan Beaver & Marilyn Hewish for helping with the id of this species for us
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
Marilyn kindly let us know this was not Amelora catacris, and that emergence time/month was an important factor in moth identification. Peter then said "... Taxeotis only have threadlike antennae - females and males - see MoV 4 on page 15. 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 on 10 Sept 2017; 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 may not always be 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.
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, females short & fat.
We have recently been discussing these moths with Ethan Beaver & Peter. They are a difficult lot but all the males we have seem to be missing the diagnostic ventral tuft of Nearcha. Ethan recently found & id'ed similar moths as Tapinogyna perichroa. While some of these here look very similar to that species, the hind wings of our specimens look too rounded.
At this stage, we are going to classify ours as undescribed Oenochrominae while we look into it further.
It's possible there are different species shown in this sequence of photo's.