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

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

These caterpillars are green with four black dots on each segment, and with a pale brown head. 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 young caterpillars mine the leaves and eat the flesh, leaving the skin intact, which is transparent and looks like small windows in the leaves. More mature caterpillars each live under a leaf in a silk shelter.

    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 has been found all across the old world, for example :

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

    as well as in Australia in

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

    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.

    Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
    Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
    Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), p. 59.

    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.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    Lepidoptera
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 26 March 2011, 16 March 2019, 28 October 2020)