10 April 2009

Psychidae - Lomera pantosemna

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Psychidae - Lomera pantosemna

Case and Bag Moths are included in the Psychidae family and enfold some of the most attractive moths in Australia, with thick woolly cloaks coupled with striking coloration. Moths to many people are dull little flying things that ruin your cloths, but that simply is not correct and to my mind, they are just as appealing as the butterflies. The outstandingly handsome moth below is a good example with its furry gold and black picturesque outfit.

The female of this Case Moth is unknown, as is the unique construction of their vegetative larval case, although I have discovered a number of different ones that may include this species. The male (above) is known only from the SW of Western Australia, making the Esperance district a range extension of over 200 km (125 miles). However I have only seen a single moth (around 2.5 cm or 1 inch in length) and that was in early August, which considering the cold weather at that time of year, might explain the thick woolly cloak.

That impressive odor/pheromone seeking antennae shows how the males locate the females (thought to be wingless) and may indicate there are only small populations ranging over comparatively large areas.