Ghost moth Click to enlarge image
Ghost moth, Blackheath, NSW. January 2018 Image: David Jackson
Courtesy Australian Museum, Public Domain, Photographer: David Jackson, Date: [2018]

This beautiful Ghost moth was encountered at Blackheath, NSW, in January 2018.

It's scientific name is Elhamma australasiae, and it is a species of the Hepialidae family.

The family Hepialidae, commonly known as Ghost and Swift Moths, contains some of the largest and most obvious Australian moths.

There are about 150 species of ghost and swift moths found in Australia. The common name “ghost moth” comes from a European species whose white ghostly males are seen hovering over open ground in a conspicuous display flight to attract females.

These moths fly in late summer and Autumn into early winter. They sometimes emerge on mass after rains. They often come to domestic lights. The earliest adults appear in January, but they are most common in March and usually disappear by April. The males come to lights more readily than the females, and are more uniform in size.

The species occurs in New Guinea, and along the eastern seaboard of Australia, and is a common species in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.