Agonoxena phoenicea Bradley, 1966
Palm Moth
AGONOXENIDAE ,   GELECHIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

The moths of this species are odd, because they prefer to run rather than fly.

The Caterpillars live under the leaves of a foodplant in thin silken web, and grow to a length of about 2 cms. They feed on:

  • Alexandra Palm ( Archontophoenix alexandrae, ARECACEAE ).

    The adult moth is yellow, with rust-coloured lines along each forewing. The hindwings are off-white, shading to yellow at the wingtips. It has a wingspan of about 1 cm. When disturbed, the mothis inclined to wrap its wings tightly around its body, and run.

    The species is found in the tropical regions of Australia, including

  • Queensland.

    The species is parasitised by a wasp Chelonus species ( BRACONIDAE ), which lays its eggs in the eggs of Agonoxena phoenicia, and then develops to maturity in its caterpillar.


    Further reading :

    John David Bradley,
    A comparative study of the coconut flat moth ( Agonoxena argaula Meyr.) and its allies, including a new species (Lepidoptera, Agonoxenidae),
    Bulletin of Entomological Research,
    Volume 56, Part 3 (1966), pp. 453-472.

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 24.13, p. 246.

    Nielsen E.S., Edwards E.D. & Rangsi T.V. (Eds)
    Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia,
    Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Volume 4,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 1996, p. 98.


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    (updated 29 April 2013, 18 March 2015)