Wattle Looper
S9, Male, profile, showing green
Wattle Looper
S4, Male, ventral
Wattle Looper (Phrissogonus laticostata)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)
Family: Geometer (:Geometridae Larentiinae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Wattle Looper (Phrissogonus laticostata)
This Photo:     S4, Male, costal tuft
Other name: Apple Looper

Thank you Karen Weaving & Leon Crang for confirming the id of this species for us

EXTRA - Photo Specific Information:
I find this a very interesting photo as it shows so many things. The main object was to show a close up of one of the costal tufts on the males forewing.
However, also note the thickness of the scales. Moths only have scales, no hair, yet some of the scales shown here are as thin as hairs. Hence hair like scales.
Then the scales on the wings show a close up of how the patterns are made. You can see how a worn moth (ie lost scales) looses it's patterns as well.
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), the Adelaide Hills and elsewhere
~7mm body & head, ~20mm wingspan
Males are easily identified by the costal wing tufts (tufts on the front of the open wing).
Both males & females have very scaloped bodies when viewed in profile. It helps confirm female id, but makes it hard to get dorsal shots fully in focus as the body is considerably higher than the wings.
They often sit upside down; some photo's here have been rotated to make it easier to compare with other moths.
Some moths, like this can be quite variable. It's unusual for us to find green colours on anything at Ellura, however, specimen 9 was the only one found at Ellura with some green in it; compared with Adelaide Hills specimens we found.
NB: the very different body shapes between the 2 male ventral shots. Normally we would consider this a sign of gender variation, but it just goes to show you have to be careful of what one assumes. We have seen similar bloating in moths that have been drowning in puddles, etc.
Photographed 17 in Jan, Apr, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov & Dec.

Copyright © 2016-2023 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 14-Oct-2016
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.