Palaeosia bicosta (Walker, 1854)
Two-ribbed Footman
(one synonym: Lithosia fraterna Butler, 1877)
LITHOSIINAE ,   ARCTIIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Palaeosia bicosta larva
(Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

This Caterpillar has long fine black and white hairs, which appear to be non-irritant. Its body is mottled in black, yellow, and grey. Its head and legs are red. Our specimen was found on a window sill inside the house. It was raised on

  • Lichen

    growing on damp pieces of bark from an old apple tree. The caterpillar grew to a length of 3 cms.

    It pupated inside a cocoon which it spun amongst the twigs.

    Palaeosia bicosta
    (Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

    The photograph shows the stiff posture characteristic of many LITHOSIINAE, or "Footmen", which are a sub-family of the ARCTIIDAE. The adults have a wingspan up to 3 cms. The forewings are grey-brown with a cream line along the costa, and a small transparent window (aereole) on each wing. The hind wings are orange. The absence of a yellow spot in the centre of the thorax distinguishes it from the similar moth: Manulea replana.

    Palaeosia bicosta
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The species is found over south-eastern Australia including:

  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria
  • Tasmania, and
  • South Australia.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 44.3, p. 437.

    Pat and Mike Coupar,
    Flying Colours,
    New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 33.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 2,
    Tiger Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (A)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 20-21, 26-27.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 2 (1854), pp. 506-507.


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    (updated 25 May 2010, 21 February 2015)