(previously known as Geometra lotrix)
ARCTIINAE, ARCTIIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
(Photo: by Simon Ong, Kununurra, Western Australia, courtesy of Graeme Cocks)
This Caterpillar hatches from a group of eggs laid by its mother on a leaf of the foodplant. The caterpillar is off-white with complex sets of orange and black or blue spots along the back, and is covered with stiff sparse short hairs. The caterpillar feeds on various species of
and grows to a length of about 3 cms.
The adult moth is white with black and red patches on its wings, and is very similar to that of Utetheisa pulchelloides. The most obvious difference is having no red spot at the tornus of each fore wing:
It has a wingspan of about 3 cms. Its pheromones have been elucidated.
The species is found around the tropics of much of the world, including :
as well as in Australia in
The correct genus name is Utetheisa Hübner, 1819. Sometimes it is listed as Utethesia, but this was a misspelling made by Moore in 1860.
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 30.13, pp. 46, 434.
Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
Amsterdam Baalde, vol. 2 (1777), pp. 20-21, and also Plate 109, figs E, F.
Moths of Victoria - Part 2,
Tiger Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (A),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths,
CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 182.
(updated 17 April 2013, 10 April 2017, 3 September 2020)