Dermaleipa microrrhoea (Fabricius, 1775)
(erroneously known as Ophiusa microrrhaea)
CALPINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Craig Nieminski, Darwin, Northern Territory)

This caterpillar is brown and knobbly, with pale and dark wobbly stripes. It has been found feeding on

  • Billy Goat Plum ( Terminalia ferdinandiana, COMBRETACEAE ).


    (Photo: courtesy of Craig Nieminski, Darwin, Northern Territory)

    The pupa is brown, and formed on or in the soil with no cocoon.


    (Photo: courtesy of Craig Nieminski, Darwin, Northern Territory)

    The moths have brown forewings, and bright orange hindwings that have broad black margins and a large black spot in the middle. The wings have smooth margins. The abdomen is orange. The wingspan is about 7 cms.


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

    Underneath, the sexes have different patterns. The undersides of the male are variable. Sometimes they dark brown shading paler at the margins. Sometimes the underside of the forewings have a yellow diagonal bar, and have a yellow base. The male hindwing undersides can also be dark brown shading paler at the margins, or they can have similar patterns to those on the upper surfaces except they are in brown and yellow.


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

    The undersides of the female are pale brown with a large dark spot near the middle underside of each forewing, and a large pale spot near the middle of the underside of each hindwing.


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

    The species occurs in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    male, drawing by George Francis Hampson, listed as Dermaleipa metaxantha
    ,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum,
    Noctuidæ, Volume XII (1913), Plate CCXII, figure 1,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

    This species needs to re-assigned to another genus.


    Further reading :

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
    Systema Entomologiae,
    1775, p. 593, No. 12.

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


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

    (updated 30 May 2013, 2 May 2015)