Autoba silicula (Swinhoe, 1897)
Earhead Worm
(previously known as Eublemma silicula)
ACONTIINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Autoba silicula
(Photo: courtesy of Dominic Funnell, Yorkeys Knob, Queensland)

This Caterpillar is a minor pest on many crops, including

  • Sunflower ( Helianthus annuus, ASTERACEAE ),
  • Sorghum ( Sorghum bicolor, POACEAE ),
  • Cotton ( Gossypium hirsutum, MALVACEAE ),
  • Castor Oil Plants ( Ricinus communis, EUPHORBIACEAE ), and
  • Mango ( Mangifera indica, ANACARDIACEAE ).

    The adult moth of this species has pale brown wings, the forewings each fading to white along the costa, along which are some dark markings, and there are more dark marks at the wingtips. Each wing sometimes has a rusty brown transverse line. The forewings have a wave-shaped margin. The wingspan is about 2 cms.

    The species is found across Asia, including

  • India,

    And also in Australia in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Charles Swinhoe,
    New Eastern Heterocera,
    The Annals and Magazine of Natural History,
    Series 6, Volume 19 (1897), p. 167, No. 7.


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    (written 15 August 2015)