Heliomystis electrica Meyrick, 1888
Electric Moth
GEOMETRINAE,   GEOMETRIDAE,   GEOMETROIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Heliomystis electrica
(Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Blackheath, New South Wales)

The adult moths of this species have forewings that are pale brown with a variable complex pattern of scalloped darker brown lines and patches.

Heliomystis electrica
melanic form
(Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: Part 4)

Unusually for moths in GEOMETRIDAE, the hindwings of this species are quite different from the forewings. The hindwings are orange with a broad brown margin and each has a dark spot in the middle. In the natural posture of the moth, these brightly coloured hindwings are obscured. The wingspan is about 4 cms.

Heliomystis electrica
showing undersides
(Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: Part 4)

The underside of each wing is yellow with a grey marginal band, a black submarginal band, and a black and white patch.

The species has been found in the southern half of Australia, including:

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

    Another species superficially similar to, but genetically different from, Heliomystis electrica has been found in

  • Tasmania.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, plate 10.19, p. 371.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 4,
    Emeralds and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (B)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2012, pp. 28-29.

    Edward Meyrick,
    Revision of Australian Lepidoptera II,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 2, Volume 2, Part 4 (1888), p. 878, No. 46.


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    (updated 28 June 2013, 8 October 2013, 26 April 2014)