Manulea replana (Lewin, 1805)
Lichen-eating Caterpillar
(one synonym : Lithosia dispar Leach, 1814)
LITHOSIINAE ,   ARCTIIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Manulea replana larva
(Photo: Don herbison-Evans, Sydney, New South Wales)

This Caterpillar is brown, except for a black and white patch at each end and in the middle. It is also very hairy, and the hairs can cause Urticaria on sensitive people. The caterpillar sits passively during the day on a fence or stone. It feeds nocturnally on :

  • Lichen.

    Manulea replana parasites
    Caterpillar with 12 parasite cocoons attached

    It is prone to attack by a variety of parasites and parasitoids. It grows to length of about 3 cms., and then pupates in a sheltered crevice in a cocoon.

    Manulea replana

    The moth is brown, with a yellow spot in the middle of the thorax. It also has a yellow abdomen. The hindwings are yellow with a black margins. The forewings are brown with a yellow line along the costa, and sometimes two blurred yellow marks near the centre of each forewing. The spot on the thorax distinguishes it from the similar moth: Palaeosia bicosta. Both species have a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    Manulea replana
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    Specimens of this species have been taken in

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales.

    Manulea replana
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Burrill Lake, New South Wales)


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 18.24, p. 437.

    John William Lewin,
    Prodromus Entomology,
    Natural History of Lepidopterous Insects of New South Wales,
    London : T. Bensley (1805), p. 16, and also Plate 15.

    George F. Hampson,
    Catalogue of the Arctiadae (Nolinae, Lithosianae) in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Catalogue of the Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum,
    Volume 2 (1900), p. 162, No. 323.


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    (updated 2 February 2010, 8 October 2013, 28 March 2015)