Common Whistling Moth
AGARISTINAE, NOCTUIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
Mike & Pat Coupar
(Photo: courtesy of Paul Whitington, Wonboyn, New South Wales)
This Caterpillar is fleshy with sparse white hairs along the body. It has irregular bands of orange, black, and pale yellow, and also a prominent lateral pale yellow line, and an area of red near the tail.
The caterpillar is solitary, and feeds nocturnally on:
The caterpillar grows to a length of about 3 cms. When fully grown, the caterpillar wanders about for several days before pupating in a crevice or in the soil.
The forewings of the adult moths are black with white markings, and the hind wings are orange with a black margin. The abdomen is orange on top and black underneath. The females have a wingspan of about 3 cms. The males have a wingspan of about 2.5 cms.
The males claim to fame is having a curved transparent 'window' in each forewing. They also make a clicking-whistling sound when flying. This is made in flight by a ribbed area on the forewing rubbing against a small protrusion. The noise is probably used to attract females.
This species hs been found in Australia, in:
Further reading :
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Dechauffour de Boisduval,
Essai sur une monographie des zygénides, suivi du tableau méthodique, des lépidoptères d'Europe,
Paris : Chez Méquignon-Marvis, 1829, pp. 11-12, and also Plate 1, fig. 2.
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 22.22, pp. 50, 464.
Pat and Mike Coupar,
New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 71.
Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), p. 171.
Moths of Victoria - Part 8,
Night Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA(B),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2017, pp. 32-33.
(updated 26 October 2011, 22 January 2014, 25 November 2020)