Asura lydia (Donovan, 1805)
Lydia Lichen Moth
(one synonym : Setina pectinata Wallengren, 1860)
LITHOSIINAE ,   ARCTIIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Asura lydia larva
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Sydney, New South Wales)

This species has a furry grey Caterpillar, although the hair is noticeably absent from between the segments. When the Caterpillar is disturbed, it curls into a tight spiral.

Asura lydia larva
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Sydney, New South Wales)

It has been found on a wide variety of herbaceous plants, but is thought actually to eat leaf litter or

  • Lichen.

    It grows to length of about 1 cm. It pupates on a leaf or wall in a sparse cocoon covered in grey hairs from its own skin.

    Asura lydia female
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Ian McMillan, Imbil, Queensland)

    The moth emerges after about a fortnight in summer or several months across winter. It is small, and black and yellow, with a wingspan of about 1.5 cms.

    Asura lydia male
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan, Tewantin, Queensland)

    The males are distinguished by having feathery antennae, whereas the females have simpler filamentous antennae.

    Asura lydia
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The female lays her eggs in a spaced array on a leaf. The eggs are pale yellow and rounded.

    Asura lydia eggs
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan, Tewantin, Queensland)

    The species is found in the southern eastern quarter of Australia, including and

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory, and
  • Victoria.


    Further reading :

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

    Edward Donovan,
    General Illustration of Entomology,
    An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea, Otaheite and other Islands in the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans,
    London (1803), p. 179, and also Plate on p. 178.

    Peter Hendry,
    The Australian Arctiid Moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea: Erebidae) with emphasis on Creatonotos Gangis,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 65 (June 2012), pp. 9-10,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Peter Marriott ,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 2,
    Tiger Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (A)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 22-23.


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    (updated 3 November 2011, 15 March 2015)