Anthela denticulata (Newman, 1856)
Toothed Anthelid
(previously known as Teara denticulata)
ANTHELINAE ,   ANTHELIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Anthela denticulata
white form
(Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

This is a hairy Caterpillar with variable coloring. In Melbourne it has been found varying in colour from black and white to black and red.

Anthela denticulata
red form
(Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

It has been found feeding on various Grasses ( POACEAE ), including

  • the exotic Chilean Needle Grass ( Nassella neesiana ), and
  • various Cereal crops.

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 4 cms.

    It pupates in a buff papery double-walled cocoon at ground level.

    Anthela denticulata
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria - Part 1)

    The adult moths are black with wavy white lines, and two white spots near each anterior margin. The hind wings are white, edged with black. During courtship, the males open and close their wings, exposing the white hind wings in a spectacular display. The wingspan of both sexes is about 5 cms.

    Anthela denticulata
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

    The adults are superficially similar to those of Anthela basigera, 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 basigera which is found in South Australia.
  • Anthela euryphrica which comes from central New South Wales,
  • Anthela oressarcha which comes from the mountain areas of southern New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 13.7, p. 396.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 1,
    Silk Moths and Allies - BOMBYCOIDEA
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 16-17, 20-21.

    Edward Newman,
    Characters of a few Australian Lepidoptera, Collected by Mr. Thomas R. Oxley,
    Transactions of the Entomological Society of London,
    New Series, Volume 3, Number 8 (1856), p. 283, No. 1.


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    (updated 22 December 2013)