Tebenna micalis (Mann, 1857)
Small Thistle Moth
(one synonym: Choreutis isshikii Matsumura, 1931)
CHOREUTINAE,   CHOREUTIDAE,   SESIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Tebenna micalis
(Photo: courtesy of Dianne Clarke, New Zealand)

These caterpillars are green with black spots. They feed on various species in ASTERACEAE, including :

  • Capeweed ( Arctotheca calendula ),
  • Spear Thistle ( Cirsium vulgare ),
  • Fleabane ( Erigeron canadensis ),
  • Scotch Thistle ( Onopordum acanthium ) and
  • Everlasting Daisy ( Xerochrysum bracteatum )..

    The caterpillars eat the flesh of the leaves leaving the skin intact, which is transparent and looks like small windows in the leaves.

    Tebenna micalis
    oops: no abdomen
    (Photo: courtesy of Landcare Research Ltd., New Zealand)

    The adult moth is brown with black patches, and has a wingspan of about 1 cm.

    Tebenna micalis
    (Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Australian Capital Territory)

    The species occurs worldwide, for example :

  • Japan,
  • New Zealand,
  • Reunion,
  • Spain, and
  • United Kingdom,

    as well as in Australia in

  • Queensland,
  • Australian Capital Territory, and
  • Victoria.

    Tebenna micalis
    (Photo: courtesy of Dianne Clarke, New Zealand)


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 28.14, pp. 292-293.

    Josef Johann Mann,
    Verzeichniss der im Jahre 1853 in der Gegend von Fiume gesammelten Schmetterlinge,
    Wiener Entomologische Monatschrift,
    Volume 1 (1857) p. 181.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths,
    CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 109.


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    (updated 26 March 2011, 16 March 2019)