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Meet the golden sun moth

Scientific name: Synemon plana

Brown and natural coloured moth on the ground in the bush surrounded by brown debris
Golden sun moth

Conservation status

Victorian Government status: vulnerable

Australian Government status: vulnerable


With club-like antennae and a wingspan of just 3 cm, the golden sun moth is one of Victoria’s rarest insects.

Unlike most moths, the golden sun moth is active during the day – and while females rarely take flight, males fly in a zig-zag pattern in the warmest part of the day looking for a mate.

Females spend most of their adult life laying around 100 to 150 eggs in clumps of wallaby grass. Around 3 weeks later, the eggs hatch and the emerging caterpillars tunnel below the ground, where they live for one to 3 years. Once hatched, the adult moths only live for one to 4 days.


  • habitat removal, primarily for agriculture
  • excessive vegetation
  • predators (birds)
  • loss of food plants.

Where are they found?

Small patches in south-eastern Australia, in mostly grassland habitat.

What we are doing

The golden sun moth is found in a number of our conservation areas.

Page last updated: 13/02/24