Cosmodes elegans (Donovan, 1805)
Green Blotched Moth
(previously known as Phalaena elegans)
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

(Photo from: "Flying Colours", Coupar & Coupar, 1992)

This Caterpillar is smooth and green, with a pale line along each side, and small dark spiracles. The head is pale brown. The caterpillar has all its prolegs present.

(Photo: courtesy of Wendy Moore, Melbourne, Victoria)

It has been found feeding on:

  • Australian Bluebell ( Wahlenbergia, CAMPANULACEAE ),
  • Lobelia ( Lobelia inflata, CAMPANULACEAE ), and
  • Verbena ( Verbena species, VERBENACEAE ).

    (Photo: courtesy of Wendy Moore, Melbourne, Victoria)

    It grows to be rather tubby, to a length of about 3 cms.

    (Photo: courtesy of Wendy Moore, Melbourne, Victoria)

    It pupates in a thin cocoon amongst the leaves of the foodplant.

    (Photo: courtesy of Christine Ashe, Wyee, New South Wales)

    The adult moth is brown with a sinuous green pattern on the forewings. The hindwings are pale brown, fading to white at the base.

    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    (Photo: courtesy of Wendy Moore, Melbourne, Victoria)

    The eggs are white and spherical, and are laid apparently rather loosely in small clusters on the foodplant, although they fall off very easily.

    (Photo: courtesy of Wendy Moore, Melbourne, Victoria)

    The species occurs in the south-west Pacific, including

  • Indonesia, and
  • New Zealand,

    as well as in Australia itself including

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

    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, p. 460.

    Pat and Mike Coupar,
    Flying Colours, New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 69.

    Edward Donovan,
    General Illustration of Entomology,
    An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea, Otaheite and other Islands in the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans,
    Volume 1 (1805), p. 164. and also Plate on p. 162.

    Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
    Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
    Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), p. 162.

    Peter Marriott & Marilyn Hewish,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 9,
    Cutworms and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (C)
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2020, pp. 6-7, 12-13.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 120.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 11 April 2013, 4 August 2023)