Brithys crini (Fabricius, 1775)
Lily Borer
(one synonym : Noctua dominica Cramer, 1782)
HADENINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Glenda Rode-Bramanis, Bli Bli, Queensland)

This caterpillar is black with white spots, except for the head and tail which are brown with black markings. The caterpillar has sparse black hairs.


(Photo: courtesy of Glenda Rode-Bramanis, Bli Bli, Queensland)

It feeds on various plants from the family AMARYLLIDACEAE, including :

  • Robust Lily ( Crinum angustifolium ),
  • Blue Amaryllis ( Hippeastrum procerum ),
  • Spider Lily ( Hymenocallis littoralis ),
  • Sea Daffodil ( Pancratium maritimum ),
  • Fairy Lily ( Zephyranthes candida ),

    as well as :

  • Crocus ( Crocus tommasinianus, IRIDACEAE ).


    (Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott,
    taken in Peter Mackey's garden at Mt Eerwah, Queensland)

    The caterpillar often bores into the stems, or eats the flesh inside the leaves staying inside the intact translucent epidermis. On average, a caterpillar has been reported to eat 240 square centimetres of leaf in its lifetime. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 5 cms.


    (Photo: courtesy of Roaminoz Crew, Burpengary, Queensland)

    The pupa is formed naked underground.


    (Photo: courtesy of Paolo Mazzei, Diego Reggianti, Ilaria Pimpinelli, Rome, Italy)

    The adult moth has brown forewings each with subtle pattern, including a variable irregular dark-edged mark near the middle, and a broad pale band along the inner margin. The hind wings are off-white, darkening toward the margins. The wingspan is about 4 cms.


    (Photo: courtesy of Paolo Mazzei, Diego Reggianti, Ilaria Pimpinelli, Rome, Italy)

    The pheromones have been elucidated. The eggs are pale yellow and spherical, and laid in regular arrays of about 40 on the leaf of a foodplant.


    (Photo: courtesy of Paolo Mazzei, Diego Reggianti, Ilaria Pimpinelli, Rome, Italy)

    The species occurs in :

  • Africa,
  • Asia, and
  • Europe,

    and also in Australia including:

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    drawing by Pieter Cramer, listed as Noctua dominica,

    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 4 (1782), Plate CCCXCIX, fig. H,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 49.18, p. 465.

    Pieter Cramer,
    Uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen,
    Amsterdam Baalde, Volume 4 (1782), p. 238, Fig. H, and also Plate 399, fig. H..

    Johan Christian Fabricius,
    Historiae Natvralis Favtoribvs,
    Systema Entomologiae,
    1775, p. 587, No. 108.

    Ron May,
    Observations of moth and parasitoid,
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 62 (September 2011), pp. 13-14,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Ron May,
    Brithys crini in Australia: from bush to suburbia,
    Bulletin, Entomological Society of Queensland,
    Volume 28, Issue 4, 2000, pp. 73-76.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    caterpillars
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 10 April 2011, 15 March 2017)