Oenochroma vinaria Guenée, 1857
Pink Bellied Moth
(one synonym : Monoctenia decora Walker, 1869)
OENOCHROMINAE ,   GEOMETRIDAE ,   GEOMETROIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
( donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Oenochroma vinaria
brown and black form
(Photo: courtesy of Bruce Anstee, Riverstone, Sydney)

These Caterpillars are brown with a broad black band along the back, or green.

Oenochroma vinaria
green form
(Photo: courtesy of David Douglass-Martin, Encounter Bay)

Both forms have a scattering of white dots, and have pairs of pale spots on abdominal segments one, three, and eight. Small horns project from these. The Caterpillars have only two pairs of ventral prolegs.

Oenochroma vinaria
(Photo: courtesy of David Nelson)

When disturbed, the Caterpillar curls the head under the body exposing the horns and markings on the thorax and the start of the abdomen.

Oenochroma vinaria
(Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley)

They feed on various members of the plant family PROTEACEAE :

  • Spider Flowers ( Grevillea ),
  • Needlewood ( Hakea ), and
  • Candle Flowers ( Banksia ).

    The caterpillars grow to a length of about 4 cms.

    Oenochroma vinaria
    (Photo: courtesy of Susan Foyle, Sydney)

    The pupa is brown. The pupal stage can be as short as 3 weeks in summer.

    Oenochroma vinaria
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The general wing colour of the adult moths varies: at one extreme some are pink and at the other some are brown. The body also varies from pink to brown. The moths all have a brown or yellow line across the upper surface of each wing. Also each forewing has a recurved wingtip, and a small transparent spot surrounded by an irregular dark mark on both the upper and under surfaces.

    Oenochroma vinaria

    Oenochroma vinaria
    (Photos: courtesy of Evan Harris)

    In its resting pose, the lines are aligned and resemble the vein in a leaf.

    Oenochroma vinaria
    underside
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    Underneath, there is also a large dark purple blotch under each forewing, and a dark line under each hindwing. The moths have a wingspan of 5 to 7 cms.

    Oenochroma vinaria
    (Photo: courtesy of Carol Buchanan)

    A female moth will lay over 100 eggs, which are pale green and oval.

    Oenochroma vinaria
    (Photo: courtesy of John Stumm)

    Oenochroma vinaria
    egg, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Cathy Young)

    The species is found over most of Australia, including

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    The species has recently been the subject of DNA analysis, and is now thought to be two species. One is still called Oencochroma vinaria. The other has been named Oenochroma barcodificata Hausmann, 2009. The two species look superficially similar. The latter so far has only been found in Tasmania and New South Wales.

    Oenochroma vinaria Oenochroma vinaria
    (Photos: courtesy of John Thompson, Melbourne)


    Further reading :

    David Carter,
    Butterflies and Moths, Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, p. 193.

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 10.12, p. 368.

    Pat and Mike Coupar,
    Flying Colours, New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 48.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 4, Emeralds and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (B),
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2013, pp. 10-11.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 143.


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

    (updated 17 June 2013, 18 September 2013)