(one synonym : Nigasa subpurpurea Walker, 1860)
OENOCHROMINAE , GEOMETRIDAE , GEOMETROIDEA
Stella Crossley & Peter Marriott
(Photo: courtesy of Mike and Pat Coupar,
from: "Flying Colours", Coupar & Coupar, 1992)
This species is widespread in most of mainland Australia and Tasmania, where the larvae feed on
The Caterpillars are fawn, sometimes greenish or reddish, and have a knob on the tail. They have only two pairs of prolegs, and so move in a looper fashion. They normally rest motionless by day, and feed at night.
The adult moths are brown, but have forewing patterns that are somewhat variable.
Some have a row of dark dots or a vague line running about 5 mm from the outside edge of the wing. There is a dark mark about halfway along the trailing edge of each forewing. The rear wings are more variable, ranging from a pink, through salmon to a drab pink tinged brown. A distinct diagonal line usually runs through the middle of each rear wing.
Adult males often come to lights in October, November, December and January. Females rarely come to lights (less than 5%). The female wings are a slightly different shape, larger but similar colour to males. Also, the antennae of female is almost threadlike, whereas that of a male is obviously 'feathered'.
Both sexes have a large blotch on the underside of the forewing. The underside of the rear wing is a light brown. Male wingspan up to 6 cms, female 7 cms.
The eggs are spherical and pale grey, and are laid in a row along the edge of a foodplant leaf.
Ths species is found over most of Australia, including
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 36.9, p. 369.
Pat and Mike Coupar,
New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 37.
in Boisduval & Guenée: Uranides et Phalénites,
Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
Volume 9, Part 9 (1857), p. 186, No. 288..
Moths of Victoria: Part 4,
Emeralds and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (B),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2012, pp. 12-13.
(updated 18 June 2013, 29 August 2014)