Amata aperta (Walker, [1865])
Pale Spotted Tiger Moth
(one synonym : Hydrusa nesothetis Meyrick, 1886)
SYNTOMIINI ,   CTENUCHINAE ,   ARCTIIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Amata aperta
(Photo: courtesy of Ted Cadwallader, Victoria)

These Caterpillars have rather puzzling feeding habits. They have been found feeding on the foliage of :

  • Bladder Saltbush ( Atriplex vesicaria, CHENOPODIACEAE ),

    but also ate

  • dead Gum leaves ( Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE ).

    The caterpillars pupate in a flimsy cocoon.

    Amata aperta
    (Specimen : courtesy of A. Kallies et al, Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria - Part 2)

    The adult moth rather resembles a wasp. Its wings are basically black, with pale yellow translucent spots on each wing. It has transverse black and yellow bands on its body. It has a wingspan of about 3 cms. The hindwings are only about half the span of the forewings.

    Amata aperta
    underside
    (Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)

    The males and females have different sizes and different wing patterns. As generally in the genus Amata: the female has a fatter body than the male, but a smaller wingspan.

    Amata aperta
    mating pair: female on the left, male on the right
    (Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)

    Specimens have been taken in

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria, and
  • South Australia.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 19.27, p. 439.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 2,
    Tiger Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (A),
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 28-29.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 31, Supplement 1 (1865), p. 72.


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    (updated 30 April 2013, 4 December 2016)