Anestia ombrophanes Meyrick, 1886
Clouded Footman
(one synonym: Thallarcha fuscogrisea Rothschild, 1913)
LITHOSIINAE,   ARCTIIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Mike & Pat Coupar,
and
Stella Crossley

Anestia ombrophanes
(Photo: courtesy of Irene Coates, Warragul, Victoria)

These Caterpillars black with a complex pale yellow pattern on the back of each segment, including two thin pale yellow lines running along the the back. The caterpillars have a row of orange spots along each side, and have long fine hairs which project to the front, to the rear, and sideways.

Anestia ombrophanes
(Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, at Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)

The caterpillars feed on :

  • Lichen.

    They grow to a length of about 2 cms.

    Anestia ombrophanes pupa
    male cocoon and pupa
    (Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, at Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)

    The caterpillars form a pupa inside a sparse cocoon made of silk and larval hairs, attached to a fence, a tree, or a wall. The male and female pupae have different colour patterns. The pupae of both sexes is white with scattered black markings. Additionally the male has a row of orange spots along each side.

    Anestia ombrophanes pupa
    female cocoon and pupa
    (Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, at Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)

    The female pupa is also white with scattered black markings, but with a row of pink spots along each side, and aso a pink band across each segment.

    Anestia ombrophanes
    male
    (Photo from: "Flying Colours", Coupar & Coupar, 1992)

    The adult male has black and white forewings, and plain pale yellow hindwings. The male moths have a wingspan of about 2 cms.

    Anestia ombrophanes male
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria - Part 2)

    Underneath: the male moth is yellow with black areas at the tips ofeach wing.

    Anestia ombrophanes pupa
    male underside
    (Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, at Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)

    The adult female has a length of about 1 cm. She is wingless, and has a large grey body with pink spots. The female stays near her cocoon, and the male copulates with her there.

    Anestia ombrophanes female
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria - Part 2)

    The species may be found over much of the southern half of Australia, including:

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    Anestia ombrophanes eggs
    eggs laid on an empty cocoon which still contains the pupal and final larval skins
    (Photo: courtesy of Daniel Heald, Rockingham, Western Australia)

    The eggs are smooth, white and oval, with a diameter of about 1/2 mm, and laid typically by a female in an irregular cluster of 20 to 40, on the cocoon from which she emerged.

    Anestia ombrophanes family
    male mating with a female on her empty cocoon
    on which she has already laid some probably infertile eggs
    (Photo: courtesy of Irene Coates, Warragul, Victoria)


    Further reading :

    Pat and Mike Coupar,
    Flying Colours,
    New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 36.

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

    Edward Meyrick,
    Revision of Australian Lepidoptera. I,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 2, Volume 1, Part 3 (1886), p. 746, No. 83.


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    (updated 1 May 2013, 30 May 2017)