Oxycanus antipoda (Herrich-Schaffer, [1853])
(one synonym : Oxycanus fuscomasculatus Walker, 1856)
Late Oxycanus
HEPIALIDAE ,   HEPIALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

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

These caterpillars live in tunnels lined with silk in the ground, and emerge at night to feed on nearby vegetation, particularly grass ( POACEAE ). They normally live underground for two years.

The adult moths often emerge after rain, and have brown forewings with a pattern of dark spots, and plain brown hindwings.

Oxycanus antipoda
(Photo: courtesy of Ken Harris, in Morwell Park, Victoria)

The males fly zigzag paths looking for females. The females are inclined to perch on grass stems awaiting a mate. After mating, the female lays eggs while crawling over the ground or in a fluttering flight at low level. The wingspan is about 6 cms.

Oxycanus antipoda
(Picture courtesy of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences)

The species is found in :

  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania, and
  • South Australia.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 18.5, pp. 67, 145, 150.

    Gottlieb August Wilhelm Herrich-Schäffer,
    Sammlung neuer oder wenig bekannter aussereuropäischer Schmetterlinge,
    Verzeichniss der in diesem Werke gelieferten Arten nach Reihenfolge ihrer Veroffentlichung,
    Series I, Volume 1, Part 3 (1855), p. 78, and Plate 10, fig. 44.

    Axel Kallies,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 6,
    Ghost Moths - HEPIALIDAE and Allies
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2015, pp. 32-33.


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    (updated 8 May 2012)