S3, Female, ventral
Bronze Heath Moth
S9, Male, dorsal
|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Order:||Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)|
|Family:||Geometer (:Geometridae Oenochrominae) iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Bronze Heath Moth (Tapinogyna sp ES01)|
|This Photo:||S6, Male, dorsal|
Thank you Peter Marriott, Ethan Beaver, Marilyn Hewish & Axel Kallies 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; emergence time is important in moth identification. Peter then said "... Taxeotis only have threadlike antennae - females and males. 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 ~10mm long, with wingspan of 25mm. Female bodies are a bit shorter at ~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.
They are a difficult lot and all the males we have are missing a 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.
It's possible there are different species shown in this sequence of photo's.
Axel has kindly suggested S17 is Tapinogyna perichroa, but we feel the wing shapes don't much up well. The patterns certainly do and he may well be correct. But we'll wait for further research to better understand the differences with these. The bipectinate antennae of the males makes separation of species easier; not so for the females.