Hypodoxa bryophylla (Goldfinch, 1929)
(previously known as Pingasa bryophylla)
GEOMETRINAE ,   GEOMETRIDAE ,   GEOMETROIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Peter Marriott & David Nelson
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: David Nelson, Sydney, New South Wales)

This caterpillar is thin and green, with a red and white line along each side of the body. The head and tail are both pointed. It is solitary, and by day, it often stands stiff and straight at an angle, on a twig or leaf of their food plant. If disturbed, it drops on a thread. The caterpillar appears to have an organ which may be everted from under the head.


(Photo: David Nelson, Sydney, New South Wales)

Nocturnally, the caterpillars feed on the foliage of

  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus and Angophera species, MYRTACEAE )

    and Broad-Leaved Wattles ( MIMOSACEAE ) such as :

  • Sickle Wattle ( Acacia falcata ),
  • Black Wattle ( Acacia leiocalyx ), and
  • Golden Wattle ( Acacia pycnantha ),

    The caterpillars grow to length of about 5 cms.

    They each pupate in a loose cocoon inside joined curled leaves of the foodplant.

    The adult moths are green, with reddish brown markings, and a series of zigzag black lines across each wing.


    male
    (Photo: David Nelson, Sydney, New South Wales)

    The males and females have similar wing patterns, but the males have feathery antennae, whereas the antennae of the females are thread-like. The wingspan of the male moths is about 4 cms. The wingspan of the females is about 5 cms.


    female
    (Photo: David Nelson, Sydney, New South Wales)

    The adult moth closely resembles that of Hypodoxa muscosaria, but Hypodoxa bryophylla is slightly larger, is less speckled, has small dark line at the outer end of the forewing discal cell, and usually has the brownish patches on the wings.


    underside
    (Photo: David Nelson, Sydney, New South Wales)

    The eggs are smooth, green, round and flattened. They have a diameter of about 1 mm. They are laid in small clusters.


    eggs, magnified
    (Photo: David Nelson, Sydney, New South Wales)

    The species has been found in:

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


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 11.8, p. 372.

    Gilbert Macarthur Goldfinch,
    Revision of Australian Geometridae (Lepidoptera),
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Volume 54 (1929), pp. 389-391, No. 21, and also Plate 14, fig. 13, as well as Plate 16, fig. 4.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 4,
    Emeralds and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (B)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2017, update 57.


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    (updated 3 January 2013)