Oeonistis altica (Linnaeus, 1768)
(one synonym: Phalaena entella Cramer, 1779)
LITHOSIINAE,   ARCTIIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Oeonistis altica
(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

This Caterpillar is hairy, and is pale grey with a black stripe along the back. It has been reported to feed on:

  • Lichen,

    and also possibly:

  • Tropical Plums ( Flacourtia species, SALICACEAE ), and
  • Figs ( Ficus species, MORACEAE ).


    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The adult moths are deep yellow, with bold black markings on the forewings. The bulges each side of the mesothorax of males are puzzling. Maybe they are some sort of organ involved in ultrasonic signalling used by this species. The females have no such bulges. The wingspan is about 2 cms.


    close up of mesothorax bulges on males
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The species is found in south-east Asia, including:

  • Borneo,
  • Hong Kong,
  • Malaysia,
  • Philippines,
  • Taiwan,

    as well as in Australia in

  • Queensland.


    drawing by Pieter Cramer, listed as Noctua entella,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, vol. 3 (1782), plate CCVIII, fig. D,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.


    Further reading :

    Peter Hendry,
    Images of Arctiidae moths in the subfamily Lithosiinae,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 55 (December 2009), p. 31,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Carl Linnaeus,
    Iter Chinense,
    Amoenitates Academicae,
    Volume 7 (1768), pp. 502-503, species "h".

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 18.


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    (updated 10 August 2012)