Asota caricae (Fabricius, 1775)
(one synonym: Psephea alciphron Cramer, 1777)
AGANAIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Asota caricae
(Photo: courtesy of Chin Fah Shin)

The Caterpillars of this species start life as a pile of eggs laid on the leaf of a food plant. The female moth covers the pile of eggs with scales from her body.

Initially the caterpillars are communal, and skeletonize the leaf. Later they separate and feed nocturnally. They feed on the leaves of a tropical Figs ( MORACEAE ) for example :

  • Opposite-leaved Fig ( Ficus oppositifolia ), and
  • Figwood ( Ficus racemosa ),

    and have reported as pests on

  • Paw paw ( Carica papaya, CARICACEAE ).

    The caterpillars are yellow with black and white stripes, and a rust coloured head and a black thorax.

    They pupate within a curled leaf of the food plant.

    Asota caricae
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The adults have yellow fore wings, each with a pale spot near the centre, and some black dots near the base. The hind wings are a deeper yellow, and have a number of black spots. The body is yellow with a black mark on the top of each abdominal segment.

    Asota caricae
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    They are found over much of south-east Asia, including:

  • Borneo,
  • Hong Kong,
  • India,
  • Malaysia,
  • Papua,
  • Phillipines,
  • Sumatra,

    and in tropical north-eastern Australia including

  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 44.5, p. 441.

    Pieter Cramer,
    Description de Papillons Exotiques,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), p. 58, and also Plate 133, fig. E.

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
    Systema Entomologiae,
    1775, p. 596, No. 23.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    caterpillars
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 4 January 2010, 9 March 2015)