Wasp Mimicking Forester
S2, Male, profile
Ellura
Wasp Mimicking Forester
S2, Male, orange abdomen
 
                      
Wasp Mimicking Forester (Myrtartona rufiventris)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)
Family: Forester Moth (:Zygaenoidea Zygaenidae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Wasp Mimicking Forester (Myrtartona rufiventris)
This Photo:     🔍S8, Male, profile🔎

Thank you Axel Kallies for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
1st Live Photo's on-line:These are also the 1st ever (dead or alive) female photo's of this species on-line, as well as the 1st ventral photo's of this species on-line.
~9mm long & ~21mm wingspan. Male antennae are bipectinate, while females are filiform.
The top of the body is orange, which is very visible in flight. This, plus the long visible antennae, make them look very much like a wasp to the naked eye.
Black/brown matt wings (unlike it's cousin the Green Forester) with white flecks (and can have a white spot on each wing, but we haven't seen this).
They are white underneath, with the male having black stripes and the female having black & brown patches.
They love our M. lanceolata bushes. Apparantly the caterpillers eat them, so the adults are attracted to them at mating time (December in our area).
A quick note: These specimens are alive, just cold from being put in the fridge to calm down, and were released and flew away within the hour.
We have photographed 8 specimens in Mid December.

Copyright © 2021-2022 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 18-Dec-2021
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.