Geographic location of the bug: Bruny Island, Tasmania
Time: 03:34 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: This moth came to our patio lights when on vacation in Tasmania in 2008. Been trying ever since to find its ID.
How you want your letter signed: Stephen Smith
Though it resembles a Hawkmoth, this is a member of a different family, Hepialidae, the Ghost Moths or Swift Moths. We believe we have correctly identified it as Abantiades atripalpis, a Rain Moth or Waikerie, thanks to images posted to Butterfly House where it states: “The moths have grey-brown wings, often with two ragged silver flash markings across each forewing. The forewings often also show intricate sinuous patterns of pale lines. The wingspan of the males can reach 12 cms. That of the females can reach 16 cms. The adult females deposit large numbers of eggs. Indeed, this species holds the World Fecundity Record, for the greatest number of eggs being deposited by a non-social insect. One dissected female had 44,100 eggs. It is thought that the eggs are laid in flight, just being scattered across the ground.”