A couple of years ago I wrote about a series of interesting insects that came my way. They are doing it again.

My partner in Torquay found a pair of mating insects in her garden. She took a photo and posted it on the Victorian Field Naturalists Facebook page and got the reply: Compost fly, Bibio imitator.

compostflyCompost fly

Together we put the record on iNaturalist as it was a new record for the Surf Coast (iNaturalist Australia is the product of a membership agreement between the iNaturalist Network and the Atlas of Living Australia and CSIRO). In the photo above, the female has the orange back. Then yesterday I found a single male in Anglesea, so that makes two records.

I found the Compost fly because I had stopped to inspect some unusual cocoons attached to leaves of a Swamp Gum in Kuarka Dorla. They turned out to be the Ribbed Case Moth, Hyalarcta nigrescens–also a new record for the Surf Coast.

ribbedcasemothRibbed Case Moth cocoon

Not so rare, but only recorded previously in the Surf Coast three times, was the Spitfire or Sawfly larva, Perga affinis. Unusually, this one was on its own—they can cluster in groups and completely defoliate small trees. They prefer trees on the edge of the bush (where this one was) or isolated trees such as in home gardens.

spitfirelarvaSpitfire or Sawfly larva

A few days later at my place, there were some hoverflies near the clothesline. I wanted a photo, so after retrieving my camera I waited for one to settle.

hoverflyHover Fly

One that looked different was waggling its wings independently, like semaphore flags. I couldn’t find out what it was, so asked the museum and was told it is a signal fly, Rivellia sp.—again, a first record for the Surf Coast. It isn’t rare, but no-one has taken the trouble to record it.

signalflySignal Fly

Thirty centimetres away was a fly with a metallic blue back. I found several pictures on the internet of different species. I thought it most likely to be the blue bottle fly, Calliphora sp., which the museum confirmed. There have been a few records of this species – two of them this year, by ANGAIR members Alison Watson and Possum Pete (Peter Crowcroft).

bluebottleflyBlue bottle fly

Stop press! At the Ribbed Case Moth site in Kuarka Dorla, there are now several of these tiny case moths about 2 mm long. Aren’t they exquisite, particularly the pattern of wax crystals on the leaf? I’ll monitor the site and let you know if they are baby Ribbed case moths or another species.

babycasemothBaby Case Moth

Neil Tucker

Events Calendar


Mon 9:30am - 11:00am


Tue 9:30am - 11:00am

Ten ways to get involved


There are lots of different ways that you can get involved in protecting habitats, conserving biodiversity and enhancing the natural beauty of the area around Anglesea and Aireys Inlet. Learn more

Support us

Sign up for membership

ANGAIR membership gives you access to a range of great activities and benefits. Learn more about all these benefits as well as how to sign up and renew.

Sign Up

Go to top