Comocrus behri (Angas, 1847)
Mistletoe Moth
(one synonym : Agarista casuarinae Scott, 1864)
AGARISTINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Comocrus behri
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Yulara, Northern Territory)

The body of this Caterpillar is black with white spots, and it has brown legs, head, and tail.

Comocrus behri
defensive posture
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Yulara, Northern Territory)

When disturbed, the caterpillar rears up, lifting its head and thorax. The caterpillar feeds on:

  • Mistletoe ( LORANTHACEAE ).

    Comocrus behri
    (Photo: courtesy of Brenda Martin, Pambula, New South Wales)

    The adult moths have wings that are black with white straight and zigzag lines. The abdomen is black on top and has orange stripes underneath, and a scarlet tuft on the tail.

    Comocrus behri
    mating couple, showing undersides
    (Photo: courtesy of Eileen Collins, Chiltern, Victoria)

    The adult is a day-flying moth, with a wingspan of up to 5 cm.

    Comocrus behri
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The biology of this species was illustrated by Arthur Bartholomew in 1861 (although the picture is misnamed).

    The species is found on mainland Australia, including:

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.


    Further reading :

    George French Angas,
    South Australia illustrated,
    Thomas McLean, London, Part 7 (1847), Plate 37.

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pp. 447, 464.

    Pat and Mike Coupar,
    Flying Colours,
    New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 68.


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

    (updated 9 December 2009, 18 September 2013, 29 January 2014, 15 March 2015)