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 a pale yellow line each side and some thin white lines on its back make it look even slimmer. The head and ventral legs may be tinged with pink.

The caterpillar is found on:

  • Exocarpus ( SANTALACEAE ),

    although it is thought to have other food plants also.

    It grows to a length of about 1.5 cms.

    The caterpillar pupates in a soil cell, and emerges after about 3 weeks.

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

    The female is greyish brown with an interesting wavy pattern, and has a wingspan of typically 3 cms. Beneath is uniformly grey with a small discal dot often on the female.

    Phelotis cognata
    male, grey form
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Harris, Morwell Park, Victoria)

    The male is smaller, also greyish brown, with a wingspan typically up to about 2.5 cms. Both sexes have bipectinate antennae.

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

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

    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)