At the February Nature Walk, we were all interested to find a moth or butterfly that we didn’t know.

 

We decided that it probably wasn’t a butterfly, as we felt we knew our local species. I took some pictures and sent them to the Discovery Centre at the Melbourne Museum, and, despite it being an injured specimen, they identified it as Comocrus behri or Mistletoe Moth.

Mistletoe Moth

Wikipedia describes it as being “widely distributed in southern Australia from Perth to Melbourne, and adjacent to Bass Strait, occurring as far north as Derby, Western Australia, and Clermont and Rockhampton in Queensland. It may be seen, during daylight hours, hovering around mistletoe species growing on Casuarina and Eucalyptus trees. The adult moths feed on Eucalyptus flower nectar, have a wingspan of some 58 mm, and are basically black with white bands running through the wings. Males exhibit 'hill-topping' behaviour, flying to high points in the landscape and there encountering females ready for mating”.

Neil Tucker

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