Posted in Butterflies & Moths

Aussie grapevine moth: Phalaenoides glycinae

Comocrus behri: The Mistletoe Moth

Photographed today on our grape vine, using my Nokia Lumia 530, 5mp windows camera, on auto, cropped. Click on any of the images and you will be taken to the gallery.

UPDATED next day: I’m wrong.  This is the Australian grapevine moth (Phalaenoides glycinae) …  I got sidetracked by the drawing!   (I haven’t even got mistletoe)

UPDATED: Here is what Wikipedia says about the right one:

The Australian grapevine moth (Phalaenoides glycinae) is a moth of the Noctuidae family. It is endemic to the south-eastern half of Australia, but is an invasive species in many parts of the world, including Canada and South Africa. The wingspan is about 50 mm. The larvae mainly feed on Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Hibbertia obtusifolia, Amyema gaudichaudii, Epilobium ciliatum, Fuchsia and Oenothera species, but mainly Vitis vinifera, hence it is considered a pest.

800px-Indian_MynaThe Indian myna (Acridotheres tristis) was introduced into Australia in 1862 to deal with a number of insect pests including the grapevine moth. In this it was unsuccessful, and ironically the bird is now itself considered a pest in many parts of Australia.

I’ll leave this here, even though it is not the same moth. It is a terrific drawing and looks much the same.

This moth does not have the same furry legs and underbelly.
This moth does not have the same furry orange legs and underbelly.

Wikipedia says:

Comocrus behri (Angas, 1847) aka ‘Mistletoe Moth’, is widely distributed in southern Australia from Perth to Melbourne and adjacent to Bass Strait, occurring as far north as Derby, Western Australia, and Clermont and Rockhampton in Queensland. It may be seen during daylight hours hovering around mistletoe species such as Amyema miquelii, Amyema melaleucae and Amyema cambadgei growing on Casuarina and Eucalyptus trees. The adult moths feed on Eucalypus flower nectar,have a wingspan of some 58 millimetres and are basically black with white bands running through the wings. Males exhibit ‘hill-topping’ behaviour, flying to high points in the landscape and there encountering females ready for mating.
IMAGE: By Arthur Bartholomew (1834 – 1909) (English) (Artist, Details of artist on Google Art Project) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


I started blogging in an effort to keep the old brain cells alive. I'm writing a fantasy series, I take more MOOCs than I can handle, and am trying to get my Nikon D3000 off auto. I live in Victoria, Australia, with my husband and our dog, Vika.

34 thoughts on “Aussie grapevine moth: Phalaenoides glycinae

      1. No, You did say, I meant we have the little white ones! They are such a problem.
        I didn’t know the black and white one was a grapevine moth! Shall keep an eye out to see if we have any. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It is gorgeous, Millie, and a pity I couldn’t get a photo of its underside, all furry orange with black stripes. I’ve fixed up the original post to show its proper name – a Australian grapevine moth.


    1. I just fished your comment out of ‘pending’ and was sure you were going to tell me I had the wrong bloody moth! Phew, I fixed it myself already. The grapevine was the hint – wouldn’t you know it – it’s a grapevine moth.

      Yeah, I’m aware of the mildew, but they are shithouse grapes, M-R. Seeds – hundreds of them! I have to eat them outside so I can spit them out. The mildew came after we had that inch and a half of rain in two days, several weeks back. And last year the grapes vanished practically overnight when a flock of birds invaded.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Having said that about the grapes, I find that some of them are ripe enough to eat now. So I’ve been nibbling and then spitting. I keep checking for the caterpillar of this moth among the leaves, but can’t find any. I remember seeing one years and years ago and was amazed at its colour. Looks much the same as in the sketch. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  1. In S.A. we have what is called the Noisy Myna, I can tell you the Indian Myna of the eastern
    states outdoes it hands down. Wish they would make their mind up what creatures are pests, Sparrows were big on the list at one stage as were pigeons. When will man learn to leave Mother Nature alone. She didn’t do such a bad job over the hundreds of thousands if not millions of years that this world has been inhabited by animals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great looking moth, I love the furriness of it. Interesting how they tried that with the Myna. It seems there have been many attempts in the past to use another species to take out one that is invasive and yet the new one becomes invasive as well! I’ve heard people argue introducing non-native Orchids to Florida SO it would hybridize with the currently endangered one and hopefully strengthen it. I think people miss that messing with nature is never something we should take lightly. 😉

    Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, messing with nature usually creates problems they hadn’t thought about it. The moth, it actually looks more like a butterfly when flying – very pretty. I see them every year and had no idea they had orange furry bits until I took the photos! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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