Phelotis cognata (Walker, 1860)
(one synonym : Acidalia tephrinaria Walker, [1863])
Long-fringed Bark Moth
BOARMIINI,   ENNOMINAE,   GEOMETRIDAE,   GEOMETROIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Phelotis cognata
(Photo: courtesy of Catherine J. Young)

This Caterpillar is streamlined in appearance. It is greyish green, with thin wiggly dark lines, which make it look even slimmer. The head and legs may be tinged with pink.

Phelotis cognata
(Photo: courtesy of Wendy Moore, Moths of Victoria: Part 7)

The caterpillar has been found on:

  • She Oaks ( Casuarina species, CASUARINACEAE ), and
  • Australian Native Cherry ( Exocarpus cupressiformis, SANTALACEAE ).

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 1.5 cms. The caterpillar pupates in a soil cell, and emerges after one to three weeks in summer.

    Phelotis cognata
    female, grey form
    (Photo: courtesy of Marilyn Hewish, Moths of Victoria: Part 7)

    The female is grey or brown with an interesting wavy pattern, and has a wingspan of typically 3 cms.

    Phelotis cognata
    male, brown form
    (Photo: courtesy of Catherine J. Young)

    The male is smaller, also grey or brown, with a wingspan typically up to about 2.5 cms. Both sexes have bipectinate antennae. Beneath is uniformly grey with a small discal dot often on the female.

    Phelotis cognata
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Catherine J. Young)

    The eggs are oval and orange with a microscopic set of ridges along and around each egg.

    Phelotis cognata
    eggs, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Catherine J. Young)

    The species is found over much of Australia, including:

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania, and
  • South Australia.


    Further reading :

    Marilyn Hewish,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 7,
    Bark Moths and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (D)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2016, pp. 18-19, 24-25.

    Francis Walker,
    Geometrites,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 21 (1860), p. 392, No. 123.


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    (updated 24 July 2013, 14 July 2018)