Graceful Sun Moth
The Graceful Sun-Moth is endemic to Western Australia and has been identified by the Department of Parks and Wildlife as a Priority 4 significant fauna species. This means that while the Graceful Sun Moth is not currently under any direct threat, the populations are considered rare and require ongoing monitoring.
The moth is often mistaken for a butterfly as it only flies during daylight hours, particularly in bright sunshine and during the hottest part of the day. Like a butterfly the Graceful Sun Moth has slender, clubbed antennae and its hind wings are brightly coloured.
The upper surfaces of the forewings are dark grey and brown to provide camouflage when the moth is resting on vegetation. However, when in flight, there is a flash of colour from the hind wings which are a vivid bright orange with some dark grey markings.
The life cycle of the Graceful Sun Moth takes one to three years to complete. The adult moths have a short life span only living for 2 to 10 days from late February to early April. The adult moths have a short active flying period within which to find a mate. The males have territories over patches of sand where they fly close to the ground at the hottest part of the day trying to attract a female.
Currently the Graceful Sun Moth is only known to occur in Banksia woodlands on the Swan Coastal Plain or open heath lands close to the coast. In both vegetation types, their host plants, the mat rushes Lomandra maritima and Lomandra hermaphrodita, must be present to allow thier larvae to feed.