Anthela ferruginosa Walker, 1855
Rusty Anthelid
(one synonym : Darala minuta Swinhoe, 1892)
ANTHELINAE ,   ANTHELIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Anthela ferruginosa
male
(Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Aranda, Australian Capital Territory)

The Caterpillars of this species are very hairy, and have been found feeding on various Grasses ( POACEAE ), including

  • the exotic Chilean Needle Grass ( Nassella neesiana ).

    Anthela ferruginosa
    female
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The adult moths of the subspecies minuta are basically buff colored. The forewings each have two brown spots and a sparse row of brown dots running parallel to the margin. The hindwings each have one brown spot and a sparse row of brown dots running along an arc parallel to the margin. However variants frequently occur that have a background colour varying from pinkish to greyish. The subspecies ferruginosa is rust coloured. They all have a wing span of about 4 cms.

    The females are similar to the males in coloration and size, but have a thicker abdomen, and filamentary antennae.

    The moths are difficult to distinguish from those of Anthela achromata without an examination of the genitalia, but depending on the sex, differ slightly in having a more circular inner spot on the forewing, a more rounded tip to the forewing, and a more pointed tip to the hindwing.

    The species is found south-east Australia, including:

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


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 39.19, p. 395.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 1,
    Silk Moths and Allies - BOMBYCOIDEA
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 16-19.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 4 (1855), p. 854, No. 1.


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    (updated 6 April 2013, 22 December 2013)