(Photo: courtesy of Nicholas J. Fisher, Tamborine Mountain, Queensland)
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:
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 moth is inclined to wrap its wings tightly around its body, and run.
The species is found in the tropical regions of Australia, including
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.
(updated 29 April 2013, 18 March 2015, 16 January 2022)