Amyna natalis (Walker, 1859)
Ilima Moth
(previously known as Berresa natalis)
ACONTIINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Amyna natalis
(Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

These caterpillars are green, and have a reduced number of prolegs, so move in a looper fashion. They have been found feeding on a number of plants in MALVACEAE, including:

  • Pelotazo ( Abutilon incanum ),
  • Paddy's Lucerne ( Sida rhombifolia ), and
  • Sleepy Morning ( Waltheria americana ).

    The adult moth has brown wings, with a number of incomplete jagged dark lines and white marks on each forewing. The males have a bubble in each forewing. The hindwings are plain brown. The moth has a wing span of about 2 cms.

    The moths have been studied for the ultra-sonic songs produced by the males, using a vibration and twisting of the wings to act on the bubble in each forewing.

    The species is found in south-east Asia, including

  • Chagos Archipelago,
  • Hawaii,
  • Japan,
  • Malaysia,

    and in Australia in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory, and
  • Norfolk Island.


    Further Reading:

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 47.14, pp. 51, 456.

    K.-G. Heller, & R. Achmann,
    The ultrasonic song of the moth Amyna natalis (Lepidoptera:Noctudidae: Acontiinae),
    Bioacoustics Journal
    Vol. 5, Nos. 1,2, pp. 89-97.

    Francis Walker,
    Deltoides,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 16 (1859), p. 214, No. 1.


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    (written 10 August 2012)