Aeolochroma metarhodata (Walker, [1863])
Tea-tree Emerald
(previously known as Scotosia metarhodata)
GEOMETRINAE ,   GEOMETRIDAE ,   GEOMETROIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Peter Marriott & Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of S. Williams, Moths of Victoria: Part 4)

This Caterpillar is green with a white line along each side. It only has the final two pairs of prolegs, so walks in a looper fashion. It is known to feed on various trees in MYRTACEAE including:

  • Tantoon ( Leptospermum polygalifolium ), and
  • Totem Poles ( Melaleuca decussata ), and.


    (Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Aranda, Australian Capital Territory)

    The adult moths of this species have forewings that have a complex pattern of black, white, green, and pale brown. The hindwings are green, shading to brown along the costas. The females have whip-like antennae, and the males have feathery antennae. The wingspan is about 3 cms.

    The brown coloration is mainly limited to four areas: along the costa, at the wingtip, and two areas near the middle of each forewing. Some specimens have all four brown areas (as in Peter's specimen below), some only have the latter two near the middle of each forewing (as in Donald's specimen above). There appears to be no correlation between the number of brown areas and the sex or location. The green coloration appears to fade in older dead specimens.


    (Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: Part 4)

    The underside is pale grey with a well-defined narrow zigzag submarginal line plus other ill-defined bands of black and red across each wing.


    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Laura Levens, Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria)

    The species is found in

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


    mating couple, male on the right
    (Photo: courtesy of Steve Solomons, Bateau Bay, New South Wales)


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 11.10, p. 372.

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

    Francis Walker,
    Geometrites,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 26 (1863), pp. 1724-1725.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 137.


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    (updated 28 June 2013, 8 June 2014)