SOUTH AUSTRALIAN SUN-MOTHS

Synemon 'Nullarbor'  (Nullarbor Sun-moth)

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Male 36mm, Female 44mm, Mannum

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Synemon ‘Nullarbor’ (Nullarbor Sun-moth): Another very small species 20-30mm (Fig. 10), only recently discovered and presently in the process of being scientifically described. It is similar to S. theresa but is only known to fly in autumn on the native grassland expanses of the Nullarbor Plains. It is closely related to S. selene and S. theresa. Eggs take 6 weeks to hatch.

 

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Coupled adults, female on left

 

 

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Resting male (left) and female (right) in open wings position; both poses showing the hindwing flash colours

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Habitat for Synemon 'Nullarbor', comprising the low grasses Austrodanthonia and Austrostipa (Poaceae) and Lomandra effusa (Asparagaceae) (large tussocks in foreground). The track is used as a lekking area (meeting place) where newly emerged females come to meet the males.

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Lomandra effusa habitat in good condition

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Lomandra effusa habitat in parched and overgrazed condition

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Lomandra effusa (Scented iron-grass)(Asparagaceae)

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White egg of Synemon jcaria having 15 longitudinal ridges

Photography by R. Grund

 

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