05 October 2009

Dichromodes confluaria

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Dichromodes confluaria - Geometridae

A distinctively marked delta winged moth that is common to the Esperance region. It belongs to the Geometridae family whose larvae are commonly known as Loopers or Inchworms based on their looping locomotion, when they bring their rear end to the head end, thereby creating a loop with their body. It also belongs to the Oenochrominae subfamily that are well represented in Western Australia with numerous family members relying on the flora family Myrtaceae for sustenance. Myrtaceae includes Eucalyptus, Melaleuca and a vast array of other genera, most of which are very common here, as are the invertebrates (like this moth) that depend upon them.

Dichromodes confluaria is attracted to house lights and can often be found clinging to windows on calm, humid and not too cold evenings, particularly during August and September. There are males and females in the photographs above, the males have the attractive comb-like (pectinate) antennae, whilst the females have simple whip-like ones. Size wise, the head/body length is between 1.5 and 2 cm or nearly 3/4", although recently I have come across several closer to 1 cm, which gives them a considerable size range. Such differences also apply to people and in some instances to the same extent, so we should be open to such events.