(previously known as Calpe minuticornis)
CALPINAE, EREBIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
probable caterpillar of Calyptra minuticornis
(Photo: courtesy of Nomen Nudum, Dowell Creek Track, Victoria)
This Caterpillar is black, with variable white spots, lines, and patches, and an orange head.
The caterpillar has been found feeding on
The caterpillar grows to a length of about 5 cms. It pupates in a cocoon in ground debris between joined dead leaves.
The adult moth of this species has wings that are brown, with some diagonal dark lines across each forewing, including one from the wingtip to the middle of the hind margin of each forewing.
The hindwings darken at the margins. The forewings each have a recurved margin at the wingtip, and a sinuous recurve on the hind margin. The wingspan is about 4.5 cms.
The moths pierce fruit to suck the juice, and this species along with other moths in the genus Calyptra are known as the Vampire moths because they have been observed to pierce the skin of animals such as buffalo, zebu and tapir to suck blood. Under experimental conditions, one even pierced human skin and sucked blood.
The species has been found across south-east Asia, including
as well as in Australia in
Further reading :
in Boisduval & Guenée:
Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
Volume 9, Part 6 (1852), pp. 374-375, No. 1230.
Lois Hughes & John Moss,
Fruit-piercing Moths - Night Raiders,
Issue 67 (December 2012), pp. 1, 4-9,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 129.
(written 30 May 2013, 27 August 2023)