Actinotia hyperici (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)
Pale-shouldered Purple Cloud
(one synonym is Chloantha dilutior Wagner, F. 1909)
HADENINAE,   NOCTUIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Axel Hausmann, SNSB, Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen)

The Caterpillars of this species have been found feeding on the leaves of

  • St. John's Wort ( Hypericum perforatum, CLUSIACEAE ), and
  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus species, MYRTACEAE ).

    The adult moths are greyish brown, each forewing having a pattern of dark zigzag lines and pale splotches. The hindwings are pale brown, darkening toward the margins.

    The species occurs in Europe and the Middle East, including

  • Finland,
  • Romania, and
  • United Kingdom.

    The caterpillars of Actinotia hyperici were introduced into Australia in 1985-86 in order to control the exotic and noxious weed St. John's Wort, but the species appears to have failed to become established.


    Further reading:

    M.H. Julien,
    Biological control of Weeds: A world catalogue of agents and their target weeds,
    Wallingford : C.A.B. International (1992), p. 53.

    F. Wagner,
    Einige neue Lepidopterenformen,
    Entomologische Zeitschrift,
    Volume 23 (1909), p. 18.


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    (written 6 January 2019)