Argina astrea (Drury, 1773)
Crotalaria Podborer
(erroneously known as Argina astraea)
ARCTIINI,   ARCTIINAE,   EREBIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Argina astrea
(Photo: courtesy of Valry Ryland, Magnetic Island, Queensland)

The Caterpillar of this species is boldly ringed in black and white, with a broken white line along the back, and an orange verruca on each side of each segment. The caterpillar has sparse long hairs, some black and some white.

Argina astrea
(Photo: courtesy of Valry Ryland, Magnetic Island, Queensland)

The caterpillar is known to feed on a variety of plants, including:

  • Beaumontia ( Beaumontia species, APOCYNACEAE ),
  • Rattle-Box ( Crotalaria species, FABACEAE ),
  • Peter's Fig ( Ficus petersii, MORACEAE ),
  • Lathberry ( Eugenia cordata, MYRTACEAE ), and
  • Mickey Mouse Bush ( Ochna serrulata, OCHNACEAE ).

    The early instars eat the foliage, and later instars eat the fruit and seeds.

    Argina astrea
    (Photo: courtesy of John Moore, Mt. Surprise, Queensland)

    The adult moth is yellow, with each forewing having 40 similar roundish black spots having pale outlines.

    Argina astrea

    and each hindwing having a variable number of unringed black spots of various shapes and sizes. The moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    Argina astrea
    Drawing by Pieter Cramer, listed as Noctua cribraria
    ,
    Uitlansche Kapellen, Voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 3 (1782), Plate CCVIII, fig. C,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The species is found from Africa across Asia, including :

  • Borneo,
  • French Polynesia,
  • Ghana,
  • Guam,
  • Kenya, and
  • Thailand,

    as well as in Australia in:

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    underside,
    (Photo: courtesy of Dianne Clarke, Mapleton, Queensland)


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pp. 36, 434.

    Pieter Cramer,
    Uitlansche Kapellen,
    Voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 3 (1782), pp. 27-28, and also Plate CCVIII, figs. C & G.

    Dru Drury,
    in John Obadiah Westwood:
    Figures and Descriptions of Foreign Insects,
    Illustrations of Exotic Entomology,
    Volume 2 (1773), pp. 13-14, and Plate 6, fig. 3.

    Peter Hendry,
    The Australian Arctiid Moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea: Erebidae) with emphasis on Creatonotos Gangis,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 65 (June 2012), pp. 6-8,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Buck Richardson,
    Mothology,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2008, p. 12.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 14.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 18.


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    (updated 5 July 2013, 20 November 2015, 11 September 2019, 7 November 2020)