The images and information presented on this page are provided by Jack and Sue Hasenpusch, naturalists and proprieters of The Australian Insect Farm, and ecological farm that focuses on producing invertebrate breeding stocks for sale and export, and for educational and display opportunities. All images remain under the copyright of Jack and Sue Hasenpusch.
There are at least three Aenetus species present at the Australian Insect Farm: Aenetus mirabilis, Aenetus tegulatus, and Aenetus eximia. Confirmation of identification for images of A. tegulatus and A. eximia will be required in the future as external diagnostic features have not yet been identified.
Jack and Sue have recently started recording the occurrence and biology of Aenetus in their 32 ha of lowland rainforest. In contrast to the relatively large size of Aenetus moths and their prominent and even striking coloration, the biology these moths in Australia is still poorly known. The information provided by Jack and Sue therefore stands out as a very significant development in Australian natural history.
The first record of courtship and mating for an Aenetus species was made by Jack Hasepusch on February 4, 2016. Early in the evening after dark, a male A. tegulatus was observed fluttering around a flying female. A very strong sweet smelling pheromone was being produced, either by the male metatibial androconia or the female. The female then landed on the tree and the male quickly mated.
Aerial view of the Australian Insect Farm
Australian Insect Farm streamside habitat
Australian Insect Farm forest habitat
Aenetus, probably tegulatus. Male at rest. December 14.
Aenetus tegulatus emerged from Glochidion sumatrum.
Aenetus tegulatus (green form, or A. eximia) emerged from Glochidion sumatrum.
Pupa and feeding web, and emerged Aenetus tegulatusfrom Glochidion sumatrum.
Aenetus feeding webs. Note protruding frass ejection valve on web to right.
Aenetus tegulatus mating pair. February, 2016
Aenetus sp. emerged from raspberry January 4, 2012. Body length 24 mm.