Ophiusa disjungens (Walker, 1858)
Guava Moth
(one synonym: Minucia indiscriminata Hampson, 1893)
CALPINAE,   NOCTUIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Ophiusa disjungens larva
(Photo: courtesy of Robert Whyte, Brisbane, Queensland)

The Caterpillar of this species is a patchy pale brown with dark wiggly lines along the body. There are a pair of small knobs on the last segment. It has two pairs of undeveloped prolegs, so moves in a looper fashion.

Ophiusa disjungens
drawing by George Francis Hampson, listed as Minucia indiscriminata,
,
The Macrolepidoptera Heterocera of Ceylon, Volume IX (1893), Plate CLXXVI, figure 23,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

The caterpillar feeds on various species of MYRTACEAE, including :

  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus ), and
  • Turpentine ( Syncarpia glomulifera ),

    and is sometimes a pest on :

  • Guava ( Psidium guajava ).

    Ophiusa disjungens
    (Photo: courtesy of Robert Whyte, Brisbane, Queensland)

    The adult moths of this species are purplish-brown, with a dark kidney-shaped mark near the centre of each forewing, and often a purple spot at each forewing tip. Each hindwing has a broad black mark along the margin. The wingspan is about 7 cms.


    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The species occurs as several subspecies over south-east Asia and the south Pacific, including :

  • Borneo,
  • Sri Lanka,
  • Thailand,
  • Tonga (illustration 11: subspecies tongaensis)

    as well as in Australia in:

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    Ophiusa disjungens
    male, drawing by George Francis Hampson, listed as Anua disjugens
    ,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum,
    Noctuidæ, Volume XII (1913), Plate CCXIV, figure 9,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 21.3, p. 454.

    George Francis Hampson,
    The Macrolepidoptera Heterocera of Ceylon,
    Illustrations of typical specimens of Lepidoptera Heterocera in the collection of the British Museum,
    Part 9 (1893), p. 111, and also Plate 176, fig. 23 (larva).

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 145.

    Francis Walker,
    Noctuidae,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 14 (1858), pp. 1360-1361, No. 16.


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    (updated 14 August 2012, 25 March 2016)