Aenetus blackburnii (Lower, 1892)
(formerly known as Charagia blackburnii)
Blackburn's Ghost Moth
HEPIALIDAE ,   HEPIALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Aenetus blackburnii
Female
(Photo: courtesy of Axel Kallies, Moths of Victoria: Part 6)

The Caterpillars of this species have been found living in tunnels bored into the base stems of:

  • Hop Bush ( Dodonea viscosa, SAPINDACEAE ), and
  • Mint Bush ( Prostanthera species, LAMIACEAE ).

    The mouth of the tunnel becomes covered in frass. The caterpillars pupate in their tunnels. Before the adult moth emerges from the pupa, the pupa wriggles to be partly out of its tunnel.

    Aenetus blackburnii
    empty pupal shells protruding from tunnels
    (Photo: courtesy of Axel Kallies, Moths of Victoria: Part 6)

    The female adult moths have green forewings, each with some variable brown markings. The females have orange hind wings. The female moths have a wingspan of up to 7 cms.

    Aenetus blackburnii
    Male
    (Photo: courtesy of Axel Kallies, Moths of Victoria: Part 6)

    The male adult moths have green forewings, each with a submarginal white line. The hindwings of the males are white, each with a green inner margin. The male moths have a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    The species is found in

  • Victoria,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia


    Further reading :

    Axel Kallies,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 6,
    Ghost Moths - HEPIALIDAE and Allies
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2015, pp. 14-15.

    Oswald B. Lower,
    Descriptions of New South Australian Lepidoptera,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 15 (1892), p. 5.


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    (written 10 December 2016)