Asura cervicalis Walker, 1854
Spotted Lichen Moth
LITHOSIINAE ,   ARCTIIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Asura cervicalis larva
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

This Caterpillar has been found on

  • Ficus, MORACEAE,
  • Acacia, MIMOSACEAE, and
  • Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE,

    but is suspected of feeding only on the

  • Lichens

    on the trunks and branches. The caterpillar is quite small, growing to length of about 1.5 cms. It is basically black with yellow spots. It has sparse long grey hairs, and on each side, it has four tufts of long dense black hair projecting from verrucae on the meso and meta thorax.

    It pupates in a thin cocoon of felted hairs, attached to a wall or tree trunk.

    Asura cervicalis
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The moth emerges after about a fortnight in summer or several months across winter. It is small, slim bodied, and black, with five yellow spots on each forewing, and a large yellow patch on each hindwing, It has a wingspan of about 1.5 cms.

    The species occurs over non-tropical eastern Australia, including:

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

    Asura cervicalis


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 18.11, p. 437.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 2,
    Tiger Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (A)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 20-23.

    Francis Walker,
    Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 2 (1854), p. 484, No. 1.


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    (updated 29 June 2010)