Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Newsletter #312 December 2021


President : Neville Bartlett  Ph: 0412 399 239

Correspondence to: Tony Murnane Secretary/Treasurer:

Newsletter: Neville Bartlett:

Dear Friends,

It is a long standing tradition that our December field day is a relaxed gathering late on a Sunday afternoon. This year was no exception with very pleasant summer weather.

1 - Chiltern Valley No 1 (1215) - Neville Bartlett

 Friends gathered at Chiltern Valley No 1 Dam. Photo: Neville Bartlett

Spotted Tiger Moth – Arctiidae – Amata sp – Eileen Collins

2 - Spotted tiger Moth Amata sp (P Marriot)

 Spotted Tiger Moth (Arctiidae – Amata sp). Photo: Peter Marriot 

3 - Spotted Tiger Moth -Amata sp. Mt Pilot (N Blair)

 Spotted Tiger Moth (Arctiidae – Amata sp). Photo: Neil Blair

 Brightly coloured wings and bodies along with intricately patterned wings are features of many Arctiidae species.

This Spotted Tiger Moth was photographed by Neil Blair and according to Peter Marriot has only been named to species level.

It is a day flying moth and often mistaken for a butterfly. It feeds on flowers such as Golden Everlastings

The bright orange markings may act as a warning to would be predators that it is distasteful. The caterpillars of this species feed on lichen during the day. Pupation takes place in a loose silken cocoon made from silk, bits of vegetation and hairs from the caterpillar. Since the hairs on the caterpillar deterred predators it is reasonable to suggest they offer the same protection to the cocoon.

Commonly called “Woolly Bears” they have irritating hairs as a defence and when disturbed they fall and curl up into a ball.

Wingspan of Moth  28-37mm. Flight period : December to February. Day flying.

Book Review: “Wildlife of the Box-Ironbark Country”, Chris Tzaros, 2nd Edition, CSIRO publishing  – Neil Blair

Have you ever wondered:

– what is Box-Ironbark country?

– where is Box-Ironbark country?

– how it has changed since the arrival of agriculture, forestry and mining?

Or perhaps:

– what animals live in it?

– how have they been affected by the changes to the country?

– what is their current status?

– what is being done to help conserve the wildlife?

Have you felt the need for:

– a photo guide of all the species of mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs found in this country, along with supportive notes on identification, range and status, habitat, habits and locations where may be found?

– a full guide to the Parks and Reserves in the Victorian Box-Ironbark Region with individual maps, location and access, habitat description, notable natural features and feature species found there?

– checklists, glossary and recommended further reading?

If so then your luck is in for Chris Tzaros, with the simplicity and clarity that only great knowledge and experience can bring to a subject, has released the revised and updated 2nd edition of his much loved book. This book not only addresses all the above wonderings and needs but is full of his superb wildlife photos of every species of mammal, bird, reptile and frog found in the Victorian Box-Ironbark country.

This is a MUST HAVE book for all lovers of the Box-Ironbark country. Tell the family you have found what you would like for Christmas or order it for yourself. It will take your knowledge and appreciation of the Park to a new level.

wildlife of box ironbark country


 Editor’s Note: Martin O’Brien has pointed out the following blog post that features an interview with Chris Tzaros.

Friends 2022 Calendars

The 2022 Friends’ calendar features images covering many aspects of the Park and comes in two formats (original A3 and compact A4).

Calendars are still available and can be purchased from:

  • Chiltern Post Office, 54 Main Street, Chiltern Vic 3683
  • Rutherglen Wine Experience, 57 Main Street, Rutherglen Vic 3685
  • From Tony Murnane
    (Secretary/Treasurer – Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park)
    69 Conness Street, Chiltern Vic 3685

AGM Deferred until February 2022

We usually hold our AGM early in September, but this year’s AGM has been deferred until later in February 2022.

Last year’s AGM was conducted via email, but this year we would like to revert back to having a gathering centred on the AGM. Details will be announced closer to the time.

Rainfall    November 2021:  113 mm. Total for year-to-date 2021: 816 mm.
In 2020 we had 737 mm up to the end of November.

The average annual rainfall for Chiltern is 689 mm.


The activities for this field day will be announced closer to the day and depend on what needs to be done and the weather.

We request that people attending abide by the prevailing COVID-19 advice:

Dates for 2022

Sunday 6th February, Saturday 5th March, Sunday 3rd April, Saturday 7th May, Sunday 5th June, Saturday 2nd July, Sunday 7th August, Saturday 3rd September, Sunday 1st October, Saturday 5th November and Sunday 4th December.

Rule of Thumb: For even months, the field day is held on the first Sunday of the month and for odd months, it is held on the first Saturday of the month.

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