Spirama recessa (Walker, 1858)
(one synonym : Spiramia revolvens Walker 1858)
CATOCALINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


female
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Bundaberg, Queensland)

This adult moth has a spectacular pattern of spiral lines curving into a large eyespot on each forewing, on a fawn background. The abdomen is orange with black bands. The moth has a wingspan of about 5 cms.


male
(Photo: courtesy of David Knowles, Walcott, Western Australia)

In the natural posture of the moth, particularly of the paler female: the hindwings cover the abdomen, and the submarginal bands on the fore- and hind- wings line up to give the impression of a monster with four eyes, a moustache, and a tooth-filled mouth.


female in monster pose
(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

The species occurs in

  • New Guinea,

    and the tropical north of Australia in

  • the north of Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 46.3, p. 454.

    George Francis Hampson,
    Catalogue of Noctuidae in the British Museum,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalaenae in the British Museum,
    Volume 12 (1913), p. 353, No. 7464, and also Plate 209, figs. 8, 9.

    Buck Richardson,
    Mothology,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2008, p. 25.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 154.

    Francis Walker,
    Noctuidae,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 14 (1858), p. 1322, No. 7.


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    (updated 24 June 2011)