Ectropis bhurmitra (Walker, 1860)
Tea Twig Caterpillar
(one synonym is: Boarmia diffusaria Walker, 1860)
BOARMIINI ,   ENNOMINAE ,   GEOMETRIDAE ,   GEOMETROIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Bishop Museum, Hawaii)

The Caterpillars of this species are blotchy brown loopers with black marks and white spiracles along each side. They are a pest in Sri Lanka, feeding on the foliage of

  • Tea Bushes ( Camellia sinensis, THEACEAE ).

    They have been found feeding on plants from many other families, including:

  • ASTERACEAE,
  • COMBRETACEAE,
  • EUPHORBIACEAE,
  • FABACEAE,
  • LILIACEAE,
  • POACEAE,
  • PROTEACEAE,
  • RUBIACEAE,
  • RUTACEAE,
  • SAPINDACEAE,
  • STERCULIACEAE,
  • VERBENACEAE,

    The caterpillars pupate in a cocoon made between two leaves joined with silk.


    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The adult moths are pale brown with a complex speckled pattern of darker shades of brown. Like most Ectropis species, it has a blurry dark blotch near the middle of each forewing, and dark marks on the first abdominal segment. which align with wavy dark lines on the hindwings when the moth is at rest. The moths have a wingspan of about 3 cms

    The species is found across south-east Asia, including :

  • Hong Kong,
  • New Guinea,
  • Solomons,
  • Sri Lanka,
  • Thailand,

    and in Australia in:

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 63.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 20 (1860), pp. 381-382, No. 99.


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    (updated 16 September2013)