In the past couple of months people from around north Queensland have been reporting aggregations of the day-flying Zodiac Moth, Alcides metaurus.
Click on the photo to enlarge
This is a spectacular moth to say the least. Most people think it is a butterfly because it feeds at flowers and behaves somewhat like a butterfly. The moth is a member of the family Uraniidae, a family of often gaudy moths many of which are diurnal. It is a large moth, measuring 50-60 mm across and is active in late afternoons. The caterpillars feed on leaves of the large vine, Omphalea queenslandiae of the family Euphorbiaceae. Judging by the numbers of moths and the extent of the reports of the migrations, these vines should be quite bare by now!
Mass movements of the Zodiac Moth in north Queensland have been known for years. They always attract attention because the moths rest en masse in selected trees. That is what attracts the attention of the public.
Thanks to Christina for use of the photo. It was taken at Wondecla, Qld.