Proteuxoa mesombra (Lower, 1893)
Orange-marked Noctuid
(formerly known as Orthosia mesombra)
ACRONICTINAE2,   NOCTUIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Proteuxoa mesombra
male
(Photo: courtesy of Leuba Ridgway, Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria)

The adult moth of this species has fawn forewings each with various markings including a large dark triangle near the middle containing two reddish blobs, one round and one crescent-shaped.

Proteuxoa mesombra
male
(Photo: courtesy of Leuba Ridgway, Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria)

The dark triangles on the forewings are less pronounced in the female.

Proteuxoa mesombra
female, listed as Proteuxoa nuna, Nerren Nerren Rest Area, Western Australia
(Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

The hindwings are shiny off-white with dark veins, shading to brown at the wingtips. The wingspan is about 3 cms.

Proteuxoa mesombra
male, listed as Proteuxoa nuna, Nerren Nerren Rest Area, Western Australia
(Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

The species has been found in:

  • New South Wales (listed as Omphaletis nuna),
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    Proteuxoa mesombra
    male, drawing by George Francis Hampson, listed as Omphaletis nuna,

    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum,
    Noctuidæ, Volume VIII (1909), Plate CXXXI, fig. 16,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

    There has been much confusion over the specimens of this species and Proteuxoa nuna. But the original descriptions are clear, and comparison with the type specimens have shown it to be clear, that specimens illustrated in various webpages which are labelled with one of these names, may be labelled mistakenly.


    Further reading :

    George Francis Hampson,
    Catalogue of Noctuidae in the British Museum,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalaenae in the British Museum,
    Volume 8 (1909), p. 378, No. 4036, and also Plate 131, fig. 16. (listed as Omphaletis nuna)

    Oswald B. Lower,
    New Australian Lepidoptera,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 17 (1892), p. 153.

    Peter Marriott & Marilyn Hewish,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 9,
    Cutworms and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (C)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2020, pp. 20-21.


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    (written 4 February 2017, updated 24 December 2020)