Aiteta iridias (Meyrick, 1889)
(one synonym: Capotena elaina (Swinhoe, 1901)
CHLOEPHORINAE,   NOLIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA,  
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.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.

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

    The species has been found in

  • New Guinea,

    as well as:

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.

    Aiteta iridias
    (Photo: courtesy of Mark Heath, Kununurra, Western Australia)

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

    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.

    Aiteta iridias
    male, drawing by George Francis Hampson
    , listed as Aiteta elaina,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum,
    Noctuidæ, Volume XI (1912), Plate CLXXXVIII, figure 4,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

    Aiteta iridias
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Mark Heath, Kununurra, Western Australia)

    Aiteta iridias
    close-up of head
    (Photo: courtesy of Mark Heath, Kununurra, Western Australia)


    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, pp. 473-474, No. 50.

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

    Charles Swinhoe,
    New genera and species of Eastern and Australian moths,
    The Annals and Magazine of Natural History,
    Series 7, Volume 7 (1901), p. 492.


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    (updated 13 November 2012, 22 June 2021)