Underwing Moth Ophiusa microrrhaea

I like Moths, I do - in my opinion they can be as beautiful as their butterfly cousins, sometimes more so. So it was a treat to snap this one on the side of the shack last night [no doubt sheltering from some long overdue rain]. The interesting thing about this little critter was the fact that upon discovery it shielded it's bright hind [under], wings with it's fore-wings. Now, I'm no expert, but I'd always thought the whole point of having bright colours and 'eye-spots' was to deter enemies or threats - actively hiding them when chanced upon seems - well, arse backwards.

Now I should add that this moth was sitting in the dark and perhaps when Jo went outside, turning on the light as she did so - the moth was startled and so 'displayed'. But you would think that while I was bumbling around attempting to take some photo's it would've engendered the same response? ... although, I suppose after a few minutes the moth may have realised I wasn't a threat - an idiot perhaps, but not a threat.

Ophiusa microrrhaea




Closing quietly 


Almost a rather drab moth - if you didn't know better


I did come up with another theory - perhaps this is a female and that along with pheromones she also displays bright colours for a male to 'home in on' so to speak [lots of insects see in the U.V spectrum - so it's not as nuts as it sounds ... well, to me anyway]. At the end of the day, I guess it doesn't really matter - but it was damned interesting ...





Found in N.Australia - wingspan 60mm.

Just a quick word about identifying this critter. Credit for working out what I think this moth is goes to the good people at ButterflyHouse.com. However, there are others and I visited them on my quest this evening too:

LeapFrogOz.com
brisbaneinsects.com

So a big thanks to them [an ebeer is on it's way ...]

As always, all the photos and any of the mistakes in this post are mine :)

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