Aiteta iridias (Meyrick, 1889)
(previously known as Thyrsoscelis iridias)
CHLOEPHORINAE,   NOLIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA,  
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Aiteta iridias
(Photo: courtesy of Craig Nieminski, Darwin, Northern Territory)

These caterpillars are off-white and covered in dark dots. There is a crest on the penultimate abdominal segment. The caterpillars were thought to be feeding on

  • Sovereignwood ( Terminalia sericocarpa, COMBRETACEAE ).

    Aiteta iridias
    cocoon
    (Photo: courtesy of Craig Nieminski, Darwin, Northern Territory)

    The caterpillar pupates in an untidy brown and white cocoon under a foodplant leaf.

    Aiteta iridias
    Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, from
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art

    The adult moths are brown with of dark diagonal lines across each forewing. The wingspan is about 3 cms.

    The species has been found in

  • New Guinea,

    as well as:

  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.

    Aiteta iridias
    female, drawing by George Francis Hampson
    ,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum,
    Noctuidæ, Volume XI (1912), Plate CLXXXVIII, figure 3,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

    Some taxonomists have the view that this species is identical to, and its name a senior synonym of Aiteta elaina.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 48.7, p. 458.

    Edward Meyrick,
    On some Lepidoptera from New Guinea,
    Transactions of The Entomological Society of London,
    1889, p. 473, No. 50.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 167.


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    (updated 13 November 2012)