Gastrophora henricaria Guenée, 1857
Beautiful Leaf Moth or Fallen-bark Looper
(erroneously : Gatrophora henricaria)
OENOCHROMINAE,   GEOMETRIDAE,   GEOMETROIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Ian McMillan, Imbil, Queensland)

The Caterpillars of this species are large and brown, with a pair of protuberances on abdominal segment three. The first two pairs of prolegs are vestigial, and there are dark triangular ventral marks under those segments. There is a pattern of fine dark lines in elongated distorted loops all over the body. The caterpillars feed on the foliage of various species in MYRTACEAE, including :

  • various species of Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus species ), and
  • Brush Box ( Lophostemon confertus ).


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Evan Harris, Ipswich, Queensland)

    The male adult moths have fawn forewings, each with a dark brown transverse line, and a prominent dark brown dot near the base of the hind margin.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Roy McDowall, Mount Jerrabomberra, New South Wales)

    The female adut moths have fawn forewings, each with a broad darker trapezoidal transverse band, and a faint dark brown dot near the base of the hind margin.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Ian McMillan, Imbil, Queensland)

    The hindwings of both sexes are orange, with a submarginal arc of black dots, and a black transverse line, and a black patch at the base.

    The females have narrow filamentous antennae, and a wingspan of about 8 cms. The males are smaller, with antennae that have substantial pectinations, and have a wingspan of about 6 cms.


    wing undersides, drawing by Achille Guenée,

    in Boisduval & Guenée: Uranides et Phalénites,
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 9, Part 9 (1857), Plate 21, fig. 4,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    Underneath, each forewing is yellow with a large black patch containing a bluish-purple blotch, connected by an orange triangle to the base. The underside of each hindwing is pale brown with a large darker patch, and a submarginal arc of black dots.

    The species is found over much of the south-eastern quarter of Australia, including

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


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pls. 10.2, 26.12, p. 368.

    Achille Guenée,
    in Boisduval & Guenée: Uranides et Phalénites,
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 9, Part 9 (1857), p. 187, No. 290, and also Plate 21, fig. 4.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 4,
    Emeralds and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (B)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2013, pp. 12-13.


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    (updated 20 June 2013, 30 January 2018)