(formerly known as Polia picta)
AMPHIPYRINAE , NOCTUIDAE , NOCTUOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)
These Caterpillars are smooth-skinned and pale grey with a series of longitudinal black lines, and with dark patches on the mesothorax and the last abdominal segment. The central dorsal line becomes yellow in later instars .
They are a pest in suburban gardens in Sydney, damaging a variety of species from the Amaryllis family ( AMARYLLIDACEAE ), including :
The caterpillars bore into the leaves and down into the crown of the bulb, growing to a length of about 5 cms.
They pupate with no cocoon in the soil near the food plant.
The adult moth is very pretty. The forewings are buff with a pattern of red and black markings. The hindwings are plain buff coloured. The body is brown. The moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms.
The eggs are laid in a mass on the underside of a foodplant leaf and covered in pale brown hairs. The mass has a width of about 7 mm.
The species occurs from India to Samoa, including:
and in Australia in:
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pls. 32.6, 32.7, pp. 32, 461.
Voyage autour du monde sur la covette La Coquille,
Volume 2, Part 2 (1838), p. 285, and also Plate 19, fig. 7.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths,
CSIRO Publishing, 2007, pp. 3, 191.
(updated 20 July 2013, 27 April 2015)