Anomis flava (Fabricius, 1775)
Cotton Looper
(one synonym : Cosmophila indica Guenée, 1852)
CALPINAE,   NOCTUIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Anomis flava
early instar
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Sydney, New South Wales)

This Caterpillar is long and green, with yellowish bands between segments. It is missing one pair of prolegs, so it moves like a looper, although not related to the true loopers in GEOMETRIDAE.

Anomis flava
late instar
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Sydney, New South Wales)

The Caterpillar is often found in Sydney on:

  • Hibiscus ( Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ),

    and is a pest on :

  • Kenaf ( Hibiscus cannabinus ), and
  • Cotton ( Gossypium hirsutum ), all of MALVACEAE.

    The caterpillars are inclinesd to lie along a vein on the underside of a leaf. The caterpillars damage the leaves of their foodplant in a characteristic pattern.

    Anomis flava
    typial pattern of damage to Hibiscus leaf by Anomis flava caterpillars

    Old Chinese drawings of Hibiscus show damage to the leaves that is similar in pattern to this which we observed on the bushes in Sydney (Anomis flava is found in China). The caterpillar grows to a length of about 4 cms.

    Anomis flava
    Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)
    The Caterpillar pupates in a sparse cocoon in a curled up leaf.

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

    The adult moth is brown, with an outlined pale spot near the middle, and zigzag lines across, each forewing.

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

    The eggs are green and flattened. They are laid on the undersides of leaves of a foodplant beside the veins.

    Anomis flava
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species occurs around most of the world including :

  • Canada,
  • Canary Islands,
  • Cook Islands,
  • Hong Kong,
  • India,
  • São Tomé and Principe,
  • Viet Nam,

    and also in Australia in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • Norfolk Island,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria, and
  • South Australia.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 44.12, pp. 65, 449.

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
    Systema Entomologiae,
    1775, p. 601, No. 46.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 125.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    caterpillars
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 4 May 2013)