(one synonym: Thallarcha fuscogrisea Rothschild, 1913)
LITHOSIINI, ARCTIINAE, EREBIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
Mike & Pat Coupar,
(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.
The caterpillars feed on primitive plants such as:
The caterpillars grow to a length of about 2 cms.
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.
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.
The adult male has black and white forewings, and plain pale yellow hindwings. The male moths have a wingspan of about 2 cms.
Underneath: the male moth is yellow with black areas at the tips ofeach wing.
The adult female has a length of about 1 cm. She is wingless and flightless, and has a large grey body with pink spots. The female stays near her cocoon, and the male copulates with her there.
The species may be found over much of the southern half of Australia, including:
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.
There is a suspicion that this is the same species as Anestia semiochrea (Butler 1886) as Butler and Meyrick published nearly simultaneously, and probably had no idea what the other was publishing.
Further reading :
Pat and Mike Coupar,
New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 36.
Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), p. 156.
Moths of Victoria - Part 2,
Tiger Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (A),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 20-23.
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.
(updated 1 May 2013, 1 January 2018, 9 October 2020)