Antictenia punctunculus (T.P. Lucas, 1892)
(previously known as Monoctenia punctunculus)
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Antictenia punctunculus
(Photo courtesy of Mel Tasker, Kooralbyn, Queensland)

The Caterpillars of this species are basically dark grey with white spots. The caterpillars have two pairs of prolegs, so move in a looper fashion. The true legs and the prolegs are red. There is a long pair of red-tipped fleshy horns on the first abdominal segment, and a smaller pair on the last segment.

Antictenia punctunculus
(Photo courtesy of Paul Grimshaw, Mt Crosby, Queensland)

The caterpillars have been found feeding on the foliage of

  • Ironbarks (Eucalyptus species, MYRTACEAE).

    The caterpillars grow to a length of about 4 cms. When mature, the caterpillars seek some some dry soil to burrow into for pupation. However if the weather happens to be particulary wet at this time, the caterpillars go walkabout, and invade buildings, cars, and equipment, seeking somewhere nice and dry. This is inclined to make the caterpillars unpopular.

    Antictenia punctunculus

    The adult moths are brown. The forewings are each crossed by two dark lines, and with a dark spot near the middle, and two near the wing-tip. The dark line by the base is serrated. The line across the main part of the wing is straight, and often outlined in red. The hindwings each are crossed by a dark line, and have a shadowy dark area around the wing-tip. The forewing tips are recurved. The wingspan is about 4 cms.

    Antictenia punctunculus
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The undersides are similar to the upper surfaces, except the wingtip under each hindwing has a pair of pale grey spots outlined in dark red.

    The species occurs in

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

    The larval morphology of this species was first identified by Markus Riegler and Cathy Byrne in January 2019.

    Antictenia punctunculus
    (Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Aranda, Australian Capital Territory)

    Further reading :

    Thomas P. Lucas,
    On 34 new species of Australian Lepidoptera, with additional localities,
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland,
    Volume 8 (1892), p. 84.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 30 March 2013, 15 July 2020)