Tonica effractella (Snellen, 1878)
(formerly known as Cryptolechia effractella)
DEPRESSARIIDAE ,   GELECHIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Drawing: by Pieter C. T. Snellen, listed as Cryptolechia effractella
,
Nieuwe Exotische Tineinen, Tijdschrift voor Entomologie,
Volume 21 (1878), p. 139, Plate 7, fig. 17,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

The Caterpillar of this species normally feeds inside the growing shoots of trees in STERCULIACEAE including:

  • Red-flowered Kurrajong ( Brachychiton paradoxum ), and
  • Monkeynut Tree ( Sterculia quadrifida ),

    although it has been known to attack:

  • Cotton ( Gossypium hirsutum, MALVACEAE ).

    The adult has wings which each look as though two arcs haves been cut out of the costa. The wings are off-white with dark markings, including one on the tip of each forewing. There are also raised areas on the wings made of loose scales. The moth has a wingspan of about 2 cms.

    The species is found in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 24.5, p. 239.

    Edward Meyrick,
    Descriptions of Australian Lepidoptera. Part I,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 26 (1902), p. 164.

    Pieter Cornelius Tobias Snellen,
    Nieuwe Exotische Tineinen,
    Tijdschrift voor Entomologie,
    Volume 21 (1878), p. 139, and also Plate 7, figs. 17-25.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths,
    CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 80.


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    (updated 5 January 2010)