Proteuxoa tortisigna (Walker, [1857])
Pale-banded Noctuid
(one synonym : Agrotis antipoda Felder & Rogenhofer, 1875)
ACRONICTINAE2,   NOCTUIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Proteuxoa tortisigna
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

Caterpillars of this species were found in September in Melbourne while weeding the garden which appeared to hide during the day, and feed at night on:

  • Grass ( POACEAE ).

    Specimens of this caterpillar were also collected in Sydney which appeared to be feeding on:

  • Grass ( POACEAE ),
  • Geranium ( Pelargonium x zonale, GERANIACEAE ), and
  • dead leaves of Daffodil ( Narcissus pseudonarcissus, AMARYLLIDACEAE ).

    The body colour of the caterpillar is brown, with a light and dark brown tweed-like pattern along the back. The head capsule is black. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 3 cms.

    The caterpillar pupates in the soil, and the adult usually emerges in spring.

    Proteuxoa tortisigna
    (Photo: courtesy of the Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The adult has forewings which are dark brown, except for a cream band along the costa, a cream dot near the middle, and a cream crescent which merges into a pale marginal band. The hindwings are pale brown, darkening at the wing-tips. The wingspan is about 3 cms.

    Proteuxoa tortisigna
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species occurs over south-eastern Australia, including:

  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania, and
  • South Australia.

    Proteuxoa tortisigna
    male, drawing by George Francis Hampson, listed as Ariathisa tortisigna
    ,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum,
    Volume VIII (1909), Noctuidæ, Plate CXXXI, figure 27,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

    Proteuxoa tortisigna
    male, drawing by Felder & Rogenhofer, listed as Agrotis antipoda
    ,
    Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (5) (1875), Plate CX, fig. 21,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.


    Further reading :

    Rudolf Felder & Alois F. Rogenhofer,
    Zoologischer Theil: Lepidoptera,
    Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (5) (1875), p. 2, and also Plate 110, fig. 21

    Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
    Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
    Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), p. 164.

    Peter Marriott & Marilyn Hewish,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 9,
    Cutworms and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (C)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2020, pp. 16-17.

    Francis Walker,
    Noctuidae,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 10, 1857, p. 409, No. 8.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    Lepidoptera
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 12 April 2013, 4 January 2017, 21 December 2020)