Ophiusa tirhaca (Cramer, 1777)
(one synonym : Anua clementi Swinhoe, 1918)
CALPINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Ophiusa tirhaca
Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, from
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art

The Caterpillars of this species have been found feeding on plants from a variety of families, including

  • Terebinth ( Pistacia terebinthus, ANACARDIACEAE ),
  • Daphne (Daphne, THYMELAEACEAE )
  • Heather ( Erica, ERICACEAE )
  • Sandalwood ( Osyris, SANTALACEAE )
  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE )
  • Bushwillow ( Combretum, COMBRETACEAE )
  • Viburnum ( Viburnum, CAPRIFOLIACEAE )
  • Rock Rose ( Cistus, CISTACEAE ).

    Ophiusa tirhaca
    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The adult moth has forewings basically which can be any colour between green and brown, each forewing having a darker broad irregular band along the margin, and a black mark about halfway along the costa The hindwings are yellow, each having a broad but broken dark submarginal band. The wingspan is about 5 cms.

    Ophiusa tirhaca
    drawing by Pieter Cramer, listed as Phalaena tirhaca
    ,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), Plate CLXXII, fig. E,
    Image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The species occurs in :

  • Europe,
  • Africa,
  • Asia,

    and also in Australia in

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


    Further reading :

    Pieter Cramer,
    Description de Papillons Exotiques,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 2 (1777), p. 116, and also Plate 172, fig. E.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 146.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 23.


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    (updated 26 October 2011)