Achaea serva (Fabricius, 1775)
(one synonym : Achaea fasciculipes Walker, 1858)
CALPINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

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

These Caterpillars are a patchy brown. Their first pair of prolegs is atrophied, so they move in a looper fashion. They have a small pair of horns on the tail. The caterpillar has been found feeding on:

  • Blind-Your-Eye Mangrove ( Excoecaria agallocha, EUPHORBIACEAE ),
  • Castor Oil Plant ( Ricinus communis, EUPHORBIACEAE ),
  • Earpod Wattle ( Acacia auriculiformis, MIMOSACEAE ),
  • Roses ( Rosa, ROSACEAE ), and
  • Gutta Percha ( Palaquium, SAPOTACEAE ).

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

    The adult moth has forewings that are brown with fragmented dark zigzag bands across them, and each forewing has a tiny white dot at the base. The hindwings are black with three blurred white marks along the margin, and a broken inner white band. The moth has a wingspan of about 7 cms.

    Achaea serva
    (Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Museum Victoria)

    The moth is a pest on fruit trees, piercing the fruit to suck juice.

    The species is found across Asia and the south Pacific, including:

  • Hong Kong,
  • Indonesia,
  • Japan,
  • Taiwan, and
  • Thailand

    and in Australia, it is found in:

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 46.12, p. 453.

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
    Systema Entomologiae,
    1775, p. 593, No. 13.

    Stephen C. Mckillup & R.V. Mckillup,
    An outbreak of the moth Achaea serva (Fabr) on the mangrove Excoecaria agallocha (L.),
    Pan-Pacific Entomologist,
    Volume 73, Number 3 (1997), pp. 184-185.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 124.


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    (updated 12 September 2011)