Dysgonia frontinus (Donovan, 1805)
(one synonym : Spanocala atrata Scott, 1891)
CATOCALINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   PAPILIONOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


drawing by Harriet and Helena Scott, listed as Spanocala atrata
,
Australian Lepidoptera, Volume 2 (1869), Plate 18,
Image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Australian Museum.

The Caterpillars of this species are grey and covered in black dots. There is also a row of red dots outlined in yellow along each side. The caterpillars feed on

  • Willgar ( Breynia oblongifolia, PHYLLANTHACEAE ).


    drawing by Harriet and Helena Scott, listed as Spanocala atrata,

    Australian Lepidoptera, Volume 2 (1869), plate 18,
    Image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Australian Museum.

    The caterpillars are thought to pupate in a loose cocoon in ground debris.


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

    The adult moths are black, with an orange head, and with a white line across each fore wing and a white border to each wing. They have a wing span of about 6 cms.


    (Photo: courtesy of Jeff Keyes, Sportsman Creek Wildlife Refuge, New South Wales)

    The species may be found in the coastal areas of

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 46.8, p. 453.

    Edward Donovan,
    General Illustration of Entomology,
    An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea, Otaheite and other Islands in the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans,
    London (1803), p. 144 and also Plate p.145.

    John Moss,
    Butterfly and Other Invertebrates Club Inc.,
    Newsletter Issue 26 (September 2002), pp. 5-6.

    Harriet, Helena, and Alexander W. Scott,
    Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations,
    Australian Lepidoptera,
    Volume 2 (1869), pp. 23-24, and also Plate 18, fig. 1.


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    (updated 27 June 2013, 15 March 2015)