Mataeomera coccophaga (Meyrick, 1887)
Brown Scale-moth
(erroneously listed as Thalpochares cocciphaga, Hampson, 1910)
ACONTIINAE,   EREBIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Mataeomera coccophaga
(Photo: courtesy of Gavin Tomkinson, Cooroy, Queensland)

The caterpillar of this species is white with a dark brown head, and a brown split collar.

Mataeomera coccophaga
(Photo: courtesy of Gavin Tomkinson, Cooroy, Queensland)

The caterpillar feeds on Scale Insects (COCCIDAE). The caterpillar carries a shield on its back covered in the skins of dead Scale Insect larvae.

Mataeomera coccophaga
cocoon
(Photo: courtesy of Donna Tomkinson, Cooroy, Queensland)

The caterpillar pupates in a cocoon also covered with skins of dead Scale Insect larvae.

Mataeomera coccophaga
(Photo: courtesy of BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

The adult moth is brown. The forewings have pale and dark patches, with dark streaks near the wingtip, and three pale wandering lines across each wing. The subterminal pale line is saw-toothed with black teeth.

Mataeomera coccophaga
(Photo: courtesy of Donna Tomkinson, Cooroy, Queensland)

The wingspan is about 2 cms.

Mataeomera coccophaga
(Photo: courtesy of Donna Tomkinson, Cooroy, Queensland)

The species has been found in Australia in

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    Mataeomera coccophaga
    (Photo: courtesy of Donna Tomkinson, Cooroy, Queensland)


    Further reading :

    George Francis Hampson,
    Catalogue of Noctuidae in the British Museum,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalaenae in the British Museum,
    Volume 10 (1910), p. 180, No. 5264.

    Edward Meyrick,
    Descriptions of new Lepidoptera,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 2, Volume 1, Part 4 (1887), pp. 1037-1038.


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    (written 2 February 2018, updated 25 May 2018)