Day Moths 
Wattle Goat Moth
Dog-faced Bell Moth
Mottled Bell Moth
Hopper-mimicking Moth
Golden Brown Leafroller
Leafroller Caterpillars
Sun Moths
Golden Metalmark Moth
Metallica Moth 
Forester Moths
Wattle Cup Caterpillar
Mottled Cup Moth
Black Slug Cup Moth
Four-spotted Cup Moth  
Green Slug Caterpillar  
Fern Cup Moth  
Unknown in this Group



Order Lepidoptera 

This page contains pictures and information about Sun Moths in family Castniidae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
The moths in this family are commonly known as Sun Moths. They fly actively during the day. They have clubbed antenna but they are not butterflies. They are medium to large in size. They have dull brown forewings but bright colour hind wings. 
Their caterpillars are hardly be seen for they tunnel in soil. They feed on roots of different kinds of grasses and sedges. Their life cycle takes 2 to 3 years.
There is only one family Castniidae in the superfamily CASTNIOIDEA. In fact all Sun Moths found in  Australia are in genus Synemon.
We found only one species of Sun Moth in Brisbane.

Sun Moths - Synemon laeta

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Male, body length 22mm
We found this moth flying actively during the day in Alexandra Hill. The moth has clubbed antennae like a butterfly. Its front wings are dark brown in colour with patterns. When flying, we saw its bright orange colour hind wings.
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We also found this Sun Moth in Karawatha Forest during mid summer. They seem like to rest on grass stem, where they did not camouflage with the background very well.
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Most Sun Moth caterpillar feed on grass root under ground. This species of Caterpillars feed inside the culm of the food plant,  Spiny Headed Mat Rush ( Lomandra longifoliaat), at  ground level.
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Female, body length 20mm
We saw this female Sun Moth once in Karawatha Forest during mid summer. It was resting on the foot path. When we came too closely, it flied to another spot on the ground a few meter away. When rest, it showed part of its hind wings which were bright orange in colour. The bottom side of its wings were also in bright orange colour. 
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They have clubbed antenna but they are not butterflies. Sun moths are the only moths that has clubbed antenna. They are active during the day and fly only under sun light. 
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They can be found resting on grass stem or on ground. 

1. Synemon laeta Walker, 1854 - Don Herbison-Evans and Dave Britton & Stella Crossley 
2. A Guide to Australian Moths - Paul Zborowski, Ted Edwards, CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2007, p104.
3. Moths of Australia - I. F. B. Common, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p267, plate6.23 6.24. 


Up ] COSSIDAE ] TORTRICIDAE ] [ CASTNIIDAE ] CHOREUTIDAE ] ZYGAENIDAE ] LIMACODIDAE ] Unknown Caterpillars and Moths in this Group ]


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Last updated: August 13, 2011.