Nataxa flavescens (Walker, 1855)
Nataxa Moth
(one synonym : Dicreagra ochrocephala Felder, 1874)
ANTHELINAE ,   ANTHELIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Mike & Pat Coupar
and
Stella Crossley

Nataxa flavescens

This Caterpillar starts life as one of a row of buff eggs laid by its mother along the edge of a leaf or stem of its foodplant.

Nataxa flavescens
(Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan)

The Caterpillar is a slender, grey and yellow, and hairy, with two tufts of black hair behind the head, and a similar single tuft on the tail. Its head capsule is brown.

Nataxa flavescens
(Photo from: "Flying Colours", Coupar & Coupar, 1992)

It feeds on a variety of:

  • Wattles ( Acacia, MIMOSACEAE ).

    It grows to a length of 5 cms.

    It pupates in a cocoon under bark or in a crevice.

    Nataxa flavescens
    Female
    (Photo: courtesy of Jeff Keyes, Sportsman Creek Wildlife Refuge, New South Wales)

    The adult males and females are very different. The female is larger with dark grey and white wings and an abdomen striped in white and grey, and has a wingspan up to 4 cm. The male has a wingspan up to 3 cm, and has orange, brown and cream wings.

    Nataxa flavescens
    Male
    (Photo: courtesy of Mark Fergus, Olinda, Victoria)
    Nataxa flavescens
    Female
    (Photo: courtesy of Jeff Keyes, Sportsman Creek Wildlife Refuge, New South Wales)

    The species can be found along the east coast of Australia, including

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

    Nataxa flavescens
    Male
    (Photo from: "Flying Colours", Coupar & Coupar, 1992)


    Further reading :

    David Carter,
    Butterflies and Moths,
    Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, p. 213.

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pls. 14.4, 14.7, p. 396.

    Pat and Mike Coupar,
    Flying Colours,
    New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 30.

    Peter Hendry,
    The Anthelidae,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 50 (September 2008), pp 27-31,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    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 5 (1855), pp. 1128-1129, No. 3.


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    (updated 6 August 2012, 22 July 2017)