Southern Whistling Moth
(previously known as Prostheta thyridion)
AGARISTINAE, NOCTUIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
(Photo by Carol Page, Little Desert in Western Victoria,
courtesy of Dr David G Hewitt)
The Caterpillars of this species feed on the poisonous plants called:
in the plant family LAURACEAE.
The forewings of the adult moths are black with several rows of white spots. The hind wings are black with an irregular orange patch. The abdomen is orange on top and black underneath, with white transverse bands.
The males have 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.
The species occurs in
(Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)
Further reading :
John Alcock, Darryl T. Gwynne and Ian R. Dadour,
Acoustic signaling, territoriality, and mating in whistling moths, Hecatesia thyridion (Agaristidae),
Journal of Insect Behavior,
Volume 2, Number 1 (January 1989), pp. 27-37.
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 22.26, pp. 47, 50, 464.
Joachim François Philibert Julien Baron Feisthamel,
Lépidoptères nouveaux recueillis pendant ce voyage,
in Cyrille Pierre Theodore Laplace :
Voyage autour du monde par les mers de l'Inde et de Chine exécuté sur la Corvette 'La Favorite' pendant les années 1830-32,
Paris, A. Bertrand, Supplement (1839), pp. 20-21, and also Plate 5, fig. 1.
Moths of Victoria - Part 8,
Night Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA(B),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2017, pp. 32-33.
(updated 19 November 2011, 21 February 2020)