Sinister or Frilled Bark Moth
(previously known as Lophodes sinistraria)
BOARMIINI, ENNOMINAE, GEOMETRIDAE, GEOMETROIDEA
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Sydney, New South Wales)
The early and late instars of this Caterpillar are coloured quite differently. When small, they are black with arcs of white spots between the segments.
Later instars are red or pale brown with black dots and black-edged white spots.
The caterpillar is a true looper, with only two pairs of prolegs. When disturbed, the caterpillar sways slowly from side to side. It is sometimes a pest on :
but has been found feeding on a wide variety of plants from other familes, including:
The caterpillar pupates without a cocoon under the soil, taking up to a year for metamorphosis. The pupa is dark brown and has a length of about 1.5 cms.
The adult moths have a wide wingspan (male 5 cms., female 6 cms.) for their body length : 1.5 cms. The wings have scalloped edges, and wavy patterns of light and dark brown. The overall colour is quite variable, sometimes being nearly black all over. The moths normally rest with wings flat, and all four wings exposed.
The female moths especially have a conspicuous pale bar across the part of the costa of both forewings, extending also across the thorax. The females also have thread-like antennae
The male moths often only have some white spots on the leading edge of each forewing. The males have feathery antennae.
The eggs are pale green and ellipsoidal. They are laid in flat groups of up to 50 on the leaves of foodplants.
The moth occurs along most of the eastern side of Australia including:
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, figs. 36.3, 36.4, pp. 67, 367.
Uranides et Phalénites,
in Boisduval & Guenée: Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
Volume 9, Part 9 (1857), p. 212, No. 318, and Plate 10, fig. 5.
Have you seen this moth?,
Issue 55 (December 2009), pp. 27-28,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
Moths of Victoria: Part 7,
Bark Moths and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (D),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2016, pp. 18-21.
Pat and Mike Coupar,
Flying Colours, New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 50.
(updated 21 January 2013, 14 July 2018, 5 January 2020)