Moths survey at Scottsdale

Published 11 Sep 2017 
about  Scottsdale Reserve  
Opodiphthera. Photo Suzi Bond.<br/> Opodiphthera. Photo Suzi Bond.

In late autumn and mid summer expert volunteers Glen Cocking and photographer Suzi Bond (author of Field Guide to the Butterflies of the Australian Capital Territory) spent 2 nights collecting moths at Scottsdale Reserve (75km from Canberra).

When you think of restoring biodiversity your mind doesn’t automatically jump to moths, but they're a surprisingly important part of the equation, not only as a food source for bats, birds and reptiles but also as crucial pollinators for many plant species.

Moths also play a vital role in telling us about the health of our environment. Since they're so widespread and are so sensitive to changes, moths are particularly useful as indicator species. Monitoring their numbers and ranges can give us vital clues to changes in the environment.

Through these surveys we've already identified that the most common moth species living along Gungoandra creek may, in fact, be the valued food source sustaining the recently translocated Striped Legless Lizard.

After much painstaking identification work the moth species count has reached an incredible 268 (and this almost certainly won't have found all the moths present). Some of the images below highlight the huge diversity of form, features and colours.