(one synonym: Psephea alciphron Cramer, 1777)
AGANAINAE, EREBIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
(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 :
and have reported as pests on
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.
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.
They are found over much of south-east Asia, including:
and in tropical north-eastern Australia including
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 44.5, p. 441.
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,
1775, p. 596, No. 23.
(updated 4 January 2010, 9 March 2015)