Anthela basigera (Walker, 1865)
Western Toothed Anthelid
(one synonym: Darala undulata Felder & Rogenhofer, 1875)
ANTHELINAE ,   ANTHELIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Anthela basigera
(Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, at Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)

These Caterpillars are black, with white verrucae, pairs of blue spots along the back, and reddish spots along the sides. When disturbed, the caterpillars are inclined to curl their head under the thorax, so displaying white bands between the segments behind the head.

Anthela basigera
caterpillar displaying white bands
(Photo: courtesy of Lorraine Jenkins, Port Lincoln Junior Primary School, South Australia)

The caterpillars feed on :

  • various Grasses ( POACEAE).

    Anthela basigera
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Lorraine Jenkins, Port Lincoln Junior Primary School, South Australia)

    The adult moths of this species are brown with a series of pale wavy bands parallel to the margin on each wing, and two pale spots on each forewing. The moths have a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    Anthela basigera
    male
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species Anthela basigera is found in

  • Victoria, and
  • South Australia.

    Anthela basigera
    female, drawing by Felder & Rogenhofer, listed as Darala undulata
    ,
    Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (5) (1875), Plate XCVIII, fig. 11,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The adults are superficially similar to those of Anthela denticulata, Anthela oressarcha, and Anthela euryphrica, but the four species occur in four different areas of the country:

  • Anthela denticulata which occurs in southern Victoria,
  • Anthela euryphrica which comes from central New South Wales,
  • Anthela oressarcha which comes from the mountain areas of southern New South Wales.

    Anthela basigera
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Neil Macfarlane and Ted Cadwallader, Nyah, Victoria)


    Further reading :

    Rudolf Felder & Alois F. Rogenhofer,
    Zoologischer Theil: Lepidoptera,
    Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (5) (1875), p. 3, and also Plate 98, fig. 11.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 1,
    Silk Moths and Allies - BOMBYCOIDEA
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 20-21.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 32 (1865), p. 372.


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    (updated 23 April 2013, 13 September 2017)