The Golden Sun Moth, a member of the family Castniidae, is a medium-sized day-flying (diurnal) moth. It has green eyes, clubbed antennae, no functional mouthparts, and females have a long extensible ovipositor. Males have a wingspan of approximately 34 mm with the upper side of the forewing dark brown with pale grey patterning and the hind wing a dark bronze-brown with dark brown patches. Females have a wingspan of approximately 31 mm with the upper side of the forewing dark grey with pale grey patterning, and the hind wing bright orange with black submarginal spots. The sexes can be distinguished by their wing colours, with only females having bright orange hind wings. Additionally, male moths having a larger wingspan than the females is unique in the Australian Castniidae family. Golden Sun Moth eggs are just over 2 mm long, and the larvae develop and pupate underground. Larvae are cream in colour, and late instars have a red-brown head capsule. At emergence, the empty red-brown pupal case is left protruding from the ground, usually at the base of, or close to a grass tussock. The pupal cases of female moths are larger than those of males, reflecting the larger abdomen size of the gravid female.
Golden Sun Moth |
Status: Vulnerable on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Synemon plana
Further; the effects of climate change on the species may be significant; and inappropriate fire regimes are likely to be impacting on the species (see Table 1).
Climate change Temperature increases; Timing Climate change projections show that Australia s changes to rainfall patterns current future climate will get hotter and drier.
Time in drought is and hydrological flows; and Confidence inferred predicted to increase over southern Australia with a more extreme weather greater frequency of severe droughts; and harsher fire events Consequence weather (CSIRO 2015). unknown The specialised life cycle and habitat preferences of the Trend increasing Golden Sun Moth may mean it is susceptible to the Extent across the effects of climate change; such as increases in entire range temperature and evaporation; changes in rainfall patterns; changes to hydrological flows; increased drought conditions; and impacts of grass fire.
Fire Inappropriate fire regimes Timing current Little information is available on the impact of fire on Confidence inferred the Golden Sun Moth.