(one synonym : Ommatoptera tetrophthalma Herrich-Schäffer, [1856})
ANTHELINAE, ANTHELIDAE, BOMBYCOIDEA
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Sydney, New South Wales)
This is a light or dark brown hairy Caterpillar with a brown and black head capsule divided by a central pale inverted Y, making its head look as though it has two large brown eyes. It is hairy with two longer tufts on the thorax looking like a pair of horns.
There is large pair of white spots on the back of the first abdominal segment, a double row of pink spots all along the back, with white spots beside each one.
The caterpillar feeds on various Grasses ( POACEAE ), especially exotics like :
When disturbed, the caterpillar rolls into a tight spiral, with its head in the centre. The Caterpillar grows to a length of 5 cms.
In the wild, it pupates in a buff papery double-walled cocoon in the debris on the ground. In captivity, it crawls to the top of the container to pupate.
The female moths are buff with two dark brown circles on each forewing, and pale margins. The antennae of the females are thread-like. The females have a fat abdomen, and a wingspan up to 6 cms.
In the male moths, the dark forewing outlines are filled, and the abdomen is narrower. The antennae are feathery. The wingspan of the males is about 5 cms.
The species occurs in Australia in:
The undersides show two dark outline circles under each wing for both sexes.
The eggs are buff coloured each with a dark spot, and are laid in a flat cluster. They each have a diameter of about 0.5 mm.
Further reading :
Butterflies and Moths,
Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, p. 213.
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 39.18, p. 396.
Pat and Mike Coupar,
New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 27.
Issue 50 (September 2008), pp 27-31,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
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. 95.
Moths of Victoria - Part 1,
Silk Moths and Allies - BOMBYCOIDEA,
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 16-19.
Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
Part 4 (1855), p. 887.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths,
CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 155.
(updated 24 April 2013, 14 July 2023)