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Submitted on
June 16, 2012
Image Size
10.0 MB
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1,373 (1 today)
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Golden Sun Moth as Totem by Ravenari Golden Sun Moth as Totem by Ravenari
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Golden Sun Moth as Totem

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MEANINGS – The Healing Sun

A profound, and possibly unexpected connection to the sun and its magic, the power of the north, a connection to grasslands and grasses, your lifestyle is rare and potentially threatened, finding it easier to function from a youthful state of mind, at times, feeling powerless or restricted as an adult, a messenger from the spirit, a connection to gold and the colour gold, a soothing, golden light, being deeply and negatively affected by inclement weather or difficult situations, needing to be a fair weather friend from time to time, metamorphosis, protecting yourself from other people’s problems.


The golden sun moth is a Critically Endangered, medium-sized diurnal moth found in Australia. They have clubbed, instead of brushy antennae, which is unusual for a moth. They are confined to grassy woodlands, and reliant on Austrodanthronia grass species (wallaby grasses). They need at least 40% of this type of grassland to have a good chance of survival. Less than 1% of these temperate grasslands remain, causing drastic reduction and fragmentation in the populations of the golden sun moth. Females are brighter than the males, with bright golden brown colouring that gives them their distinctive name. Females are often flightless, but will fly when disturbed.

They live for approximately two years, though are more likely to only live for 12 months. Females, after mating, lay 200 eggs at the base of grass tussocks. The adults only live for 2-5 days, as they are unable to feed. They prefer North-facing sloped lands. Adults will not fly on days that are wet, overcast, too windy or otherwise affected by inclement weather. As males will not fly more than 100 metres from their patch of wallaby grasses, populations 200 metres apart are considered isolated. Adult males spend their short lives hovering/patrolling about 1 metre above the grass to look for females. Environments that support golden sun moths are often grazed by cattle and sheep; which can cause further decline in populations. However, in areas of light grazing, populations of golden sun moth can potentially be maintained on private land.


Crescent medium weight illustration board, with watercolour pencil, pencil, water-fast fineliner, and acrylic and iridescent paint. 7.4 x 8 inches
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blanket86 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Amazing work!
Ravenari Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you. :)
DoorStop1227 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
BrittaM Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012
Gorgeous! I love the colours, and every single tiny little line on the moth's wings.

It's sad how, when most people think of endangered species, they immediately think "Panda!" or "Koala!" but never of the small things. Endangered insect? Who cares, it's just a dumb bug! But I personally find insects to be some of the most beautiful and intriguing creatures on the planet.
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Ee, thank you so much.

And yes, it's so very sad that these guys are critically endangered and yet no one's heard of them, and they're such beautiful, day-flying moths too.
BrittaM Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
I was looking at the list of all known endangered species the other day, and it's a shame most are things nobody has ever heard of. Society seems to get hung up on the "cute" things, and nobody cares about obscure endangered plants, or insects, or fish, or whatever.
MasterKrypton Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
how pretty! :)
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Incyray Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012  Student General Artist
looks like a species of under-wing moth.
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
They do; but they are not. They are actually pretty far away from the Catocala family. They're part of the Castniidae family, and are only found in Australia and the tropics (whereas underwings are mostly found in the Americas and Europe). The Castniids are generally called 'butterfly moths' and have the distinct clubbed antennae, which underwings lack.
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