Saturn moth

Is there an astronomical theme appearing here? A little while ago I posted about a sunfish. This time a Saturn moth has come into my purview.

It seems to be Opodiphthera astrophela – compare the pic on the CSIRO website.

Opodiphthera astrophela, Larnook

Opodiphthera astrophela

Opodiphthera astrophela, Larnook, NSW

It’s kinda mothy at the moment – here’s the cocoon of a case moth, possibly Saunder’s (Metura elongatus). This is about 10 cm long.

Case moth cocoon

Case moth cocoon

The Butterfly House website has some details on this moth, showing the larva within and the adult. So does Museum Victoria. So does the Queensland Museum.

It’s attached itself by silk threads to a thyme bush – I found it when I went to get fresh herbs for cooking. I hope it didn’t drown in the recent days of downpours. I guess I’ll keep an eye on it to see if it survived.

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2 Responses to Saturn moth

  1. janebeau says:

    Very very beautiful – hope not as destructive as a hawk moth (similar size but dark)! btw – what is a mouse spider?

    • Joy Window says:

      We have hawks moths, too. I don’t know about their destructiveness here, though. I guess I don’t have anything I want to protect so it doesn’t bother me. A mouse spider is a type of trapdoor spider very common in Australia – there are 8 species. Very common, but I’ve never seen one. You can get details from the Australian Museum website: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Mouse-Spiders. They live in burrows with a lid. Apparently one species is well-known for “aerial dispersal”, meaning that the spiderlings are wafted aloft. They have jolly great fangs. The Museum doesn’t know why they are called “mouse spiders”.

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