(formerly known as Tephrosia bispinaria)
Loop-line Bark Moth
BOARMIINI , ENNOMINAE , GEOMETRIDAE , GEOMETROIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)
These Caterpillars are brown loopers, with the males having a black and white mark about halfway along on each side
and the females being plain brown. The Caterpillars rest characteristically sitting on their last pairs of legs, with their other prolegs folded into the body. This makes them look like a twig, unless they happen to be standing on the edge of a leaf! If harassed, early instars drop down on a silken thread until danger passes, then they laboriously climb back up it. In Sydney, they have been found feeding on a wide variety of plants, including:
as well as the Australian native:
They grow to a length of about 4 cms. They have been found to burrow down about 2 cms. into the soil to pupate.
The adult is a brownish fawn colour, with wavy dark lines on the wings. 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. Like most geometrids, the moth rests with wings outspread. The adults have a much more blotched appearance than the similar species Ectropis excursaria, with a lighter area across the centre of the forewing.
The female moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms., but the male has only a span of 3 cms. The males and females have slightly different patterns. The antennae is threadlike on the female and the male has small pectinations giving the antennae a thickened appearance.
Specimens have been collected in
Further reading :
Pat and Mike Coupar,
Flying Colours, New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 44.
Uranides et Phalénites,
in Boisduval & Guenée: Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
Volume 9, Part 9 (1857), pp. 266-267, No. 414.
Moths of Victoria: Part 7,
Bark Moths and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (D),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2016, pp. 18-19, 30-31.
(updated 16 September 2013, 23 January 2014)