Donuca memorabilis Walker, 1865
CATOCALINAE,   EREBIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley


female
(Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Cairns, Queensland)

The adult moths of this species have brown patterned wings, with a large indistinct pale patch on each forewing, and two solid white patches on each hindwing. The penultimate segments of the abdomen are orange. The legs are dark brown with some white banding.


male
(Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Cairns, Queensland)

The wing undersides are white with broad dark brown margins, and with a black spot near the middle of each forewing. The underside of the abdomen is orange, however the foreleg femurs have only brown hairs.


underside, male
(Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Cairns, Queensland)

The species has been recorded in

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.


    close-up of brown hairy foreleg femurs
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Cairns, Queensland)

    Some taxonomists have synonomised this species with Donuca spectabilis. However, Walker himself, the author of both species, clearly thought they were different species, differing particularly in the colouring of hairs on the foreleg femurs. Also the distinguished Lepidopterist Ian Common treated the species as distinct in his book Moths of Australia. So here we list them separately.


    male, drawing by George Francis Hampson, listed as Donuca memorabilis,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum,
    Noctuidæ, Volume XII (1913), Plate CCX, figure 12,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 21.15, p. 454.

    Peter Hendry,
    At the Light Trap: Records of daytime flying moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Agaristinae) and the genus Donuca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Catocalinae),
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 55 (December 2009), pp. 24-27,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Francis Walker,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Volume 33 (1865), pp. 926-927.


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    (updated 14 June 2011, 25 March 2016, 20 February 2020)