Nemophora topazias Meyrick, 1893
Black Headed Fairy Longhorn Moth
ADELIDAE ,   INCURVARIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Nemophora topazias
male
(Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, at Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)

The Caterpillars of this species live in a case constructed of debris joined with silk. The caterpillars have been found feeding on the flowers of

  • Cootamundra Wattle ( Acacia baileyana, MIMOSACEAE ).

    The adult moths have forewings that are dark metallic purple, each with a yellow spot near the base, and a central transverse band of gold or green speckles. The hindwings are off-white shading to pale brown at the margins. The moths have a wingspan of about 1 cm. The forewing colour fades to brown in dead specimens. Their antennae are nearly twice as long as the wings.

    Nemophora topazias
    note length of antennae
    (Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)

    The species has been found in

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


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 16.15, p. 165.

    Edward Meyrick,
    Descriptions of Australian Micro-Lepidoptera: XVI: Tineidae,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 2, Volume 7, Part 4 (1892), pp. 483, 485-486, No. 3.


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    (written 19 June 2016)