Oxyodes tricolor Guenée, 1852
CALPINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Oxyodes tricolor
(Photo: courtesy of Dawn Williams, Dundowran Beach, Queensland)

The caterpillars of this species are black with a black head, have orange-yellow prolegs and claspers, and have a dorsal white spot near the tail.

Oxyodes tricolor
(Photo: courtesy of Ian Borg, Benaraby, Queensland)

The caterpillars eat the young leaves of various fruit trees, and are pests on :

  • Lychee ( Litchi chinensis, SAPINDACEAE ),
  • Rambutan ( Nephelium lappaceum, SAPINDACEAE ),
  • Tamarillo ( Cyphomandra betacea, SOLANACEAE ), and
  • Cocoa ( Theobroma cacao, STERCULIACEAE ).


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

    The adult moths of this species vary from pale to dark blotchy brown with a varied pattern. Often there is a white line across each forewing. Often each forewing has a white spot outlined in black. The hindwings are half black and half yellow, The moths have a wingspan of about 5 cms.


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

    The species is found mainly in coastal areas of

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    male, drawing by Achille Guenée, Ommatophoridae
    ,
    in Boisduval & Guenée: Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 7 (1852), Plate 19, fig. 1,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    Control of the caterpillars is possible using Dipel (Bt), Endosulfan or Methomyl.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 20.6, p. 448.

    Achille Guenée,
    Ommatophoridae,
    in Boisduval & Guenée:
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 7 (1852), p. 129, No. 1502, and also Plate 19, fig. 1.

    Peter Hendry,
    Different but the same,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 63 (December 2011), pp. 6-9,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 147.


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    (updated 8 August 2012, 19 April 2017)