Cruria synopla Turner, 1903
AGARISTINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Cruria synopla
(Specimen: courtesy of Jessie Scherf, Penrith, New South Wales)

This Caterpillar is banded black and white and yellow, and has sparse hairs. The black rings are interrupted by white marks, so differing from the related Cruria donowani. The caterpillar has been found feeding on :

  • Elephant Ears ( Alocasia species, ARACEAE ).

    The caterpillar tunnels into the leaf stem and developing bud. The caterpillar rests by day either on the underside of a leaf, or in a hollowed out stem of the food plant. It grows to a length of about 4 cms.

    The pupa is brown and formed in a cell in the soil or a curled leaf. Its length is about 2 cms.

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

    The adult moth of this species is black with white splotches on the forewings, and a pale yellow bar across each hindwing. The moths have a wingspan of about 5 cms.

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

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

    Cruria synopla
    (Photo: courtesy of Trevor Jinks, North Burnett)

    The adult moths are unusual in that when they rest on a vertical surface, they often turn so that the head is downward. They also have a characteristic spiralling flight, and emit a squeaking sound.

    Cruria synopla
    (Photo: courtesy of Carol Buchanan, Bayldon, New South Wales)

    The species is found in the wetter coastal regions of

  • southern Queensland,
  • New South Wales, and
  • Western Australia.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia ,  
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 22.30, p. 464.

    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. 1, 4-8 ,  
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    A. Jefferis Turner,
    New Australian Lepidoptera, with synonomic and other notes,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 27 (1903), pp. 1-2.


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    (updated 13 December 2010, 26 January 2014, 25 January 2015)