Old Lady Moth visits us every Christmas Have you seen it
As a child we always knew it was nearly Christmas as these moths would fly into our house. Mum would say look the Christmas moth is back, and we would laugh. I often wondered how it knew when it was Christmas and where it spent the rest of the year as we only saw it at Christmas time.
We have again seen two in our home this year and I decided to see if I could find out something about our little friend. We took some photos and did a Google search for Christmas Moth. No Response or at least nothing to solve my mystery.
West Australian Museum
I emailed our Museum and described this friend of ours; they suggested that it could be the Old Lady Moth (Dasypodia selenophora) from the Noctuidae family. They were spot on; their photo is the same moth that I let go today.
Another name for this moth is:
· Southern Old Lady Moth
These adult moths are mainly brown on the top with an orange colored underneath. The wings have a large spot which looks like an eye on each end of the wings. These are a blue- black in color. The back edges of the wings have black spots. Their head and legs are orange.
These moths have a wing span of between 7-9 cms
These moths are found across the lower half of Australia.
Their caterpillars feed on a variety of wattles (acacia) foliage during the night and secrete themselves beneath stems of the foliage or in the litter at the bases of the trees or shrubs during the day. Therefore they are well hidden most of the time.
The adult species emerge from their cocoons over a protracted period of the year, although this is generally during the warmer months. These moths will often be seen to fly into various homes and land on the walls or curtains. If you should happen to see one of these please open the door and let it out as it l die if left in the home for a couple of days.
Has anyone else seen this moth? No matter what they call it to me I will always be our Christmas Moth.
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