Obeidia tigrata (Orange Magpie Moth, 擇長翅尺蛾) time

April & May
Lots of reports (not via iNat though!) of the Orange Magpie Moth, 擇長翅尺蛾 (Obeidia tigrata - Geometridae, Ennominae) being seen in high abundance at the moment.
This is one of the easier to observe daytime moth species in HK at the moment and can't really be confused with any other common moth species here.

Ecology of O. tigrata in Hong Kong
It is a univoltine species (i.e. has one generation a year) most years, adults are usually seen from early April through mid to late May, though there appears to be a partial second generation some years, as I know of single October and November observations for this species. [click here for a phenology chart]
Hong Kong records posted on iNat, and from other sources, come from secondary forest and fung shui woods throughout the territory, including outlying islands (e.g. Po Toi, Kat O, Lamma) as well as HK and Lantau islands and throughout the New Territories.
The larval host has been found to be Celastrus hindsii (衛矛科) (http://www.hkwildlife.net/Forum/viewthread.php?tid=10020), with final instar larvae observed feeding, in March, on whole leaves. The larvae form shelters by spinning the edges of two leaves into an overlapping "envelope" shelter.

Recording O. tigrata
If you get to see this species in Hong Kong, please do post your observation on iNat and include it in the Hong Kong Moth Recording Project. Monitoring the phenology and abundance, as well as the distribution within Hong Kong of this (and other univoltine species) helps ecologists understand how climate change might be impacting these species.

Old stuff - mis-identities
Historically, this species was called the "Brown Tiger Moth" by Hill & Phillips (1981) and by Hill et al. (1982), misplaced in both titles in the tiger moth family Arctiidae (now Arctiinae of Erebidae), even though the species is a looper moth (family Geometridae).

Hill, D.S. & Phillips, K., 1981. A Colour Guide to Hong Kong Animals. Government Printer, Hong Kong. 281 pp.
Hill, D.S., Hore, P.M. & Thornton, I.W.B., 1982. Insects of Hong Kong. Hong Kong University Press. 503 pp.

Posted by hkmoths hkmoths, May 02, 2016 14:46



Overheard yesterday from neighbors marveling at the O. tigrata swarm above: "Wow, these butterflies are incredible!"

Posted by papilionoidea over 4 years ago (Flag)


Posted by hkmoths over 4 years ago (Flag)

Counting down to 1000 species identified for the Project Hong Kong Moths! :-)

Posted by sunnetchan over 4 years ago (Flag)

I have some to get us there (and further) following two weeks of intensive field work that have just come to a close. Over 2000 photos to sort out and select from - in excess of 1,000 photographic observations of around 500 species; a further 300 or so other species documented. Will take a while to digest all the info.

Posted by hkmoths over 4 years ago (Flag)


Posted by sunnetchan over 4 years ago (Flag)

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