Asota iodamia (Herrich-Schaffer, [1854])
(one synonym: Hypsa nesophora Meyrick, 1896)
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Asota iodamia
(Photo: courtesy of Damien Moey, Erina, New South Wales)

These Caterpillars are brown with sparse long white hairs. There are dark marks on the first abdominal segment, and pale marks on the penultimate segment. Later instars can become grey.

Asota iodamia
later instar
(Photo: courtesy of Damien Moey, Erina, New South Wales)

The caterpillars feed on the leaves of a tropical Figs: MORACEAE, including :

  • Morton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla), and
  • Rusty Fig (Ficus rubiginosa).

    Initially the caterpillars are communal, and skeletonize the undersides of the leaf. Later they separate.

    Asota iodamia
    vacated pupa

    Asota iodamia
    vacated cocoon
    (Photos: courtesy of Damien Moey, Erina, New South Wales)

    The caterpillars grow to a length of about 4 cms. When mature, they pupate amongst the ground litter, each in a frass-covered cocoon, with a length of about 3 cms.

    Asota iodamia
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The adults have brownish-yellow wings, each with a vague pale spot near the centre, and a circle of six black dots near the base. The hind wings are a deeper yellow, and have two black spots joined by arcs of little black spots. The body is yellow with a black mark on the top of each abdominal segment. The moths have a wing span of about 5 cms.

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

    The species is found along the eastern coast of Australia, including

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.

    The eggs are white, and laid as a pile under a leaf of a food plant.

    Asota iodamia
    (Photo: courtesy of Damien Moey, Erina, New South Wales)

    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 19.26, p. 441.

    Gottlieb August Wilhelm Herrich-Schäffer,
    Sammlung neuer oder wenig bekannter aussereuropäischer Schmetterlinge,
    Verzeichniss der in diesem Werke gelieferten Arten nach Reihenfolge ihrer Veroffentlichung,
    Series I, Volume 1, Part 7 (1854), p. 79, No. 119, and also fig 119.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 29 April 2013, 9 March 2015, 25 December 2019, 7 March 2021)