Wildflowers - Biodiversity
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Graceful Sunmoth   Synemon gratiosa

This rare moth is known only to exist in Perth’s northern suburbs and a new population of the endangered species has been discovered in Porteous Park. It is a diurnal flying moth that is only active from March to early April, inhabiting banksia woodlands on sandy soils in the city’s northern metropolitan area. The sunmoth is thought to only move up to 300 metres, which would make it unlikely to disperse between populations, or re-colonise sites of local extinction. The discovery of the new population in Porteous Park, Sorrento, was the highlight of three years of surveys conducted by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). Funded by the Natural Heritage Trust through the Swan Catchment Council, the surveys also confirmed healthy populations of two known sites of the moth following two years of minimal recorded sightings at the sites."This new population surprised researchers by its occurrence in coastal heath vegetation, where it has not previously been located,” Ms Willers, DEC Swan Region conservation officer said. “The new population in Sorrento raises the potential of locating more populations of the sunmoth in other areas of coastal heath vegetation,”

The discovery of the new population in Porteous Park, Sorrento, was the highlight of three years of surveys conducted by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). Funded by the Natural Heritage Trust through the Swan Catchment Council, the surveys also confirmed healthy populations of two known sites of the moth following two years of minimal recorded sightings at the sites."This new population surprised researchers by its occurrence in coastal heath vegetation, where it has not previously been located,” Ms Willers, DEC Swan Region conservation officer said. “The new population in Sorrento raises the potential of locating more populations of the sunmoth in other areas of coastal heath vegetation.”

To view the identification fact sheet in a new window click the image

To view the Joondalup Times article of 11/4/2008 in a new window click the image