Surveys in 2008 and 2009 show the erratic nature of these fussy little Critically Endangered moths.
2008 Survey – lots of moths seen
In 2008, Friends of Merri Creek and Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) conducted two very successful Golden Sun-moth surveys (with funding by Parks Victoria).
The survey at Bababi Marning (Cooper St Grassland) revealed strong variation in the moth’s distribution across the reserve, from being virtually absent in the northern half to common in the southern half. One dazed volunteer made an estimate of having seen 80 moths in a one minute period! Over one thousand moths were counted by the four teams.
The survey at Galgi ngarrk (Craigieburn Grassland) revealed very high numbers of moths (2235), especially in areas where grazing had resulted in a short ‘lawn’ of grasses.
Moths were also absent from the area of a sheep camp where soil structure had broken down and all grasses had been eaten. The surveyors had the privilege of finding a group of female moths laying eggs and mating and the pupal cases that the moths had emerged from, still poking out of the ground.
Two different survey techniques were applied. The Craigieburn survey was the third for this site in four years while the Cooper St survey used a new technique designed to help with some critical vegetation decisions.
2009 Survey – virtually no moths seen
At the survey held at Bababi Marning (Cooper St grassland) on 16 December 2009 (funded by Friends of Merri Creek), we were unfortunately only able to see a couple of Golden Sun Moths. We believe that this is because, although it was a hot and sunny day, it was much too windy. A week later on a similar day, a second hastily organised survey by MCMC staff and a handful of volunteers fared no better.
If you would like to be involved in future surveys, we require participants to register on an on-call basis. This is to try and ensure that survey only occurs in weather suitable for the moths to be flying. Registration is essential but does not obligate you to attend
This activity is not suitable for children under 12 years old
Please contact Brian at Merri Creek Management Committee on 9380 8199 or firstname.lastname@example.org