Fodina ostorius (Donovan, 1805)
(one synonym : Anocala cabbalistica Scott, 1891)
Rainforest Vine Moth
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

(Photo: courtesy of Paul Whitington, Wonboyn, New South Wales)

The Caterpillars of this species can be pale yellow or green, with black spots along the back, a yellow line along each side, and yellow patches on the last two segments. The head is pale brown.

(Photo: courtesy of Paul Whitington, Wonboyn, New South Wales)

The black spots seem to come in various sizes, and some caterpillars may be better described as black with pale yellow markings.

drawings by Harriet and Helena Scott, listed as Anocala cabbalistica,
Australian Lepidoptera, Volume 2 (1869), Plate 18,
Image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Australian Museum.

The caterpillars have been reported to feed on various plants in APOCYNACEAE :

  • Common Milk Vine ( Marsdenia rostrata ), in Victoria, and
  • Scented Milk Vine ( Marsdenia suaveolens ), and
  • Bearded Vine ( Tylophora barbata ) in New South Wales.

    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Whitington, Wonboyn, New South Wales)

    Caterpillars in captivity pupated with no cocoon, naked on the floor of their container.

    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Whitington, Wonboyn, New South Wales)

    The adult moth is black, with a white lines, including a broad diagonal stripe, on each forewing, and two yellow spots on each hindwing. There are white bands across the thorax, and a yellow band across each abdominal segment. The wingspan is about 5 cms.

    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Harris, 'Den of Nargun Reserve' on the Mitchell River, Victoria)

    This species has been found in

  • Western Australia,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales, and
  • Victoria.

    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, p. 450.

    Edward Donovan,
    General Illustration of Entomology,
    An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea, Otaheite and other Islands in the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans,
    London (1803), Part 1, p. 146. and also Plate p. 144.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 8,
    Night Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA(B)
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2017, pp. 10-11, 18-19.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 139.

    Harriet, Helena, and Alexander W. Scott,
    Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations,
    Australian Lepidoptera,
    Volume 2 (1869), p. 25, and also Plate 18.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (written 13 January 2001, updated 1 September 2023)