Cruria donowani (Boisduval, 1832)
(erroneously : Agarista donovanii)
AGARISTINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Cruria donowani
(Photo: courtesy of Ian Common, from Moths of Australia)

This Caterpillar is banded with black, white and brown. The black rings are each continuous around the body, so differing from caterpillars of the related Cruria synopla. The caterpillar has been known to feed on various plants, including :

  • Hagweeds ( Boerhavia species, NYCTAGINACEAE ), and
  • Kangaroo Vines ( Cissus species, VITACEAE ).

    The caterpillar is thought to pupate in a curled leaf of its foodplant.

    Cruria donowani
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The adult moth is black, with white spots on the forewings and a ragged diagonal cream-coloured bar across each hindwing. The moths have a wingspan of about 5 cms. The moths are unusual in that they are on the wing in daytime, like butterflies, and unlike moths from most other families.

    Cruria donowani
    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species closely resembles Cruria synopla, but the hindwing bar of Cruria donowani is whiter and more ragged. Also, only Cruria synopla has a narrow pale yellow line from the base to the middle of each forewing.

    Cruria donowani
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Harris, Morwell Park, Victoria)

    The species is found in drier areas of Australia in

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


    Further reading :

    Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Dechauffour de Boisduval,
    Faune Entomologique de L'Ocean Pacifique,
    Voyage de Decouvertes de la Corvette l'Astrolabe,
    Division 7, Part 1 : Lepidopteres (1832), pp. 176-177.

    Ian F.B. Common ,
    Moths of Australia ,  
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 32.11, p. 464.

    Ross Kendall,
    Cruria donowani (Boisduval, 1832) (Noctuidae, Agaristinae),
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 52 (March 2009) pp. 9-12,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    John T. Moss,
    Life history notes on the day-flying moth Cruria synopla Turner, 1903 and its distinction from C. donowani (Boisduval, 1832) (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae),
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 59 (December 2010) pp. 4-8,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.


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    (updated 11 April 2011, 24 September 2013, 26 January 2014, 25 January 2015)