Grammodes justa Walker, 1858
(one synonym : Prodotis caeca Pagenstecher, 1900)
Plain Box-Owlet
CATOCALINAE,   EREBIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo : courtesy of Scott Gavins, Fraser Coast, Queensland)

The Caterpillars of this species are black or grey, with broken white longitudinal stripes and orange patches. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of plants in the family PHYLLANTHACEAE, including:

  • Seed Under Leaf (Phyllanthus virgatus).
  • Showy Sauropus (Synostemon albiflorus).


    (Photo : courtesy of Scott Gavins, Fraser Coast, Queensland)

    The caterpillars grow to a length of about 3.5 cms.


    (Photo : courtesy of Graham McDonald, Mudgeeraba, Queensland)

    They pupate in a cocoon covered in debris, near the base of their foodplant.


    (Photo : courtesy of Philippe Reboul, Brisbane, Queensland)

    The adult moths are dark brown with two parallel white lines across each forewing, and one across each hindwing. The moths have a wingspan of about 4 cms. The moths often settle with the head pointing downwards.


    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    They are found over the northern half of Australia, including

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory< and
  • Victoria.


    underside
    (Photo : courtesy of Scott Gavins, Fraser Coast, Queensland)


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 47.7, p. 453.

    Graham McDonald,
    Life history notes on the noctuid moth Grammodes justa (walker, 1858). Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Catocalinae,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 70 (September 2013), pp. 6-8.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 8,
    Night Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA(B)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2017, pp. 10-11, 20-21.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 139.

    Francis Walker,
    Noctuidae,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 14 (1858), p. 1445, No. 11.


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    (updated 5 August 2011, 5 January 2019, 2 June 2020)