Scioglyptis lyciaria (Guenée, 1857)
(one synonym : Boarmia semitata Walker, 1860)
White-patch Bark Moth
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Scioglyptis lyciaria
(Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

The background colour of this Caterpillar is beige with a pink tinge. Dark brown dots give the surface a mottled appearance. The spiracles are yellow, each surrounded by a black ring. The second abdominal segment bears a pair of short blunt horns. Each horn has a small red retraclable knob in its centre. The sides of the head are raised dorsally to form two rounded knobs which point forwards. Individual Caterpillars vary in their overall darkness. They have a typical resting posture of standing stick-like on a stem.

Our Caterpillars chose to feed on:

  • Exocarpus ( SANTALACEAE ),

    but they have been reported as also feeding on:

  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE ),
  • Geebung ( Persoonia, PROTEACEAE ), and
  • Black Wattle ( Acacia mearnsii, MIMOSACEAE ).

    They feed for two to three months, and grow to a length of about 5 cms.

    The Caterpillar pupates in a soil cell, and emerges after about two months.

    Scioglyptis lyciaria
    (Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

    The adult moth is pale brown with wavy transverse dark brown lines extending across both wings. The termen of each fore and hind wing has a wavy edge, with a black bordering subterminal line.

    Scioglyptis lyciaria
    (Photo: courtesy of Eileen Collins, Chiltern, Victoria)

    The undersurface of the wings is fawn, with a broken dark brown terminal border, and a dark brown spot near the middle of each wing. The moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    Scioglyptis lyciaria
    eggs, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Cathy Young)

    Our specimens were reared from eggs laid in April. The eggs are laid side by side and overlapping in a crevice of bark. Eggs laid by different females differed in colour. They are oval, and have a microscopic pattern of crenulated ribs. When newly laid they are cream, yellow, or green. As the eggs aged, they turned orange, brown, or red. The eggs hatched about twelve hours after they were sprinkled with water.

    The species is found in

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

    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 36.1, p. 367.

    Achille Guenée,
    in Boisduval & Guenée: Uranides et Phalénites,
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 9 (1857), p. 250, No. 381.

    Marilyn Hewish,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 7,
    Bark Moths and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (D)
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2016, pp. 28-29.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 19 March 2012, 16 September 2013, 4 April 2015)