Cruria synopla Turner, 1903
Forest Day-moth
Don Herbison-Evans
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
    (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 faint narrow pale line from the base to the middle of each forewing.

    Cruria synopla
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Harris, Sydney, New South Wales)

    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, and
  • New South Wales.

    Further reading :

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

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 8,
    Night Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA(B)
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2017, pp. 34-35.

    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),
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 59 (December 2010) pp. 1, 4-8.

    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.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 13 December 2010, 26 January 2014, 25 January 2015, 1 June 2020)