Carthaea saturnioides Walker, 1858
Dryandra Moth
CARTHAEIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

(Photo: courtesy of John Tann, Boyagin Nature Reserve, Western Australia)

The Caterpillars of this species have 2 rows of eyespots along the back, and feed in broad daylight. They feed on various species of PROTEACEAE :

  • Spider Flowers ( Grevillea ),
  • Candle Flowers ( Banksia ), and
  • Parrot Flowers ( Dryandra ).


    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The adult moths are brown with an eyespot on each wing. When disturbed, they depress the head and abdomen, spread the wings, and incline the wings forward thus exposing the eyespots on the hindwings. The hindwings are then oscillated from side to side, presumably drawing attention to the eyespots as a defence mechanism. The moths have a wingspan of about 8 cms.

    The species occurs only in

  • south-west of Australia.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 14.12, figs. 119.1, 119.2, 1193, 119.4, pp. 402-403.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 14 (1858), pp. 1314-1315, No. 1.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    . A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 160.


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    (updated 11 November 2010, 11 February 2014)