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The order of insects with 4 scale covered wings found across Sportsman Creek Conservation Area

The peer-reviewed  quarterly journal Systematics and Biodiversity recently published the report – Perspectives. Colour and size variation in Junonia villida ( Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae ) : subspecies or phenotypic plasticity ? by R.I. Vane-Wright and W. John Tennant.

The review was based on” examination of c.1500 museum specimens from its entire geographical range from the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean to the Gambiers in mid-Pacific, spanning over 154 degrees of longitude, or 43% of the circumference of the Earth. Mostly found in open grasslands or disturbed areas, including woodlands and disturbed forests from sea-level up to 1500m or more in elevation, it is variable in wing colour pattern on both upper and lower surfaces. The causes of this variability are uncertain, but temperature, photoperiod, rainfall, migration and perhaps underlying geographical differentiation may all play a role.”

The Clarence Valley Meadow Argus butterfly is represented by the image on lower right side taken on the Conservation Area for the cover illustration showing six Australian butterfly with various differences in colour pattern.

Further reference available;  

Authorization and Publisher: Taylor & Francis U.K.


Found on Red Ironbark (Euc. fibrosa) in the Conservation Area. Distributed across New South Wales and Victoria. Described in 1990 by Scoble and Edwards. A new sighting with no common name.

I.D. courtesy of  Don Herbison-Evans.

Further reference; 

What is the Difference between Moths and Butterflies?

Although the rules for distinguishing between moths and butterflies are not hard and fast, one very good guiding principle is that butterflies have thin antennae and (with one exception) have small balls or clubs at the end of each antennae. Moth antennae can be quite varied in appearance, but in particular lack the club end. The divisions are named by this principle “club antennae” (Rhopalocera) or “varied antennae” (Heterocera).

“The adult moths are stout and brown with a white spot in the middle of each forewing. The female is larger than the male at 3.5cm. Eggs are laid in a jumbled mass on a twig”. ( No common name ).

I.D. and reference courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans and Stella Crossley.

Further reference –  

” This moth occurs over much of Australia. The adult moth has freckly brown forewings each with three orange and two white spots near the middle. The hindwings and abdomen are brown and the thorax is off-white and hairy”. The caterpillars are extraordinarily camoflaged  in the shape of their host tree the eucalypt gum species. First described by Hering in 1931. Click hyperlink below for amazing caterpillar images.

I.D. and reference courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans and Stella Crossley.

Further reference – 

“Adult moths have fawn forewings with a dark brown line across each one and  have a dark brown dot near the base of the inner margin. The hindwings are orange with a submarginal arc of dark brown dots, a dark brown patch at the base and a dark brown line across each wing. Underneath each forewing has a purple blotch.”  The caterpillars are looper type and are known to feed on Gum trees. A new find on the Conservation Area. Found in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.       

I.D. and reference courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans and Stella Crossley.

Further reference;  Beautiful Leaf Moth

With a wingspan of around 3cm  this brown moth Pantydia metaspila ( no common name) is found in Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Taiwan, Queensland and now northern New South Wales. “Adult moths are brown, with a thin submarginal line accompanied by some black spots on each forewing.” It also displayed a similar profile to a Wolf Spider.

I.D. courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans

Reference courtesy of  Don Herbison-Evans and Stella Crossley.

Further reading

Circopetes obtusata moth with no common name is found across most states of Australia. The abdomen of the moth is often held twisted to one side. This makes the moth less obvious to predators.The caterpillar is a looper-type.

I.D. courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans.

Further reference –

“The adult moths of this species are varied in their colours, from an earthy grey to rich deep green, with a complex pattern of zigzag lines. The underside is pale brown, with a broad dark marginal band and a dark central spot on each wing”. With a wingspan of 45mm and body length of 25mm the green colours fade rapidly when the moth dies. With no common name, a new find on the wildlife refuge.

I.D. courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans.

Reference courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans, Donna Crossley and Peter Marriott.

The caterpillars are an agricultural pest feeding on Oats and Sugarcane. The caterpillars are pale green or yellow, with two black bands behind the thorax. They are missing a pair of ventral prolegs and so move in a looper fashion. They pupate in a twisted leaf.

I.D. and references courtesy of Don Herbison- Evans and Stella Crossley.

Further reading -http://

This species of moth is believed to feed on She Oak (Allocasuarina) species and comes from a large family of Wooly Bear Moths. Found on the wildlife refuge.

I.D. courtesy of  Chris Hosking.  Interpretive Officer, Australian Museum.

An exploration into...
By Jeff Keyes