Aenetus eximia (Scott, 1869)
(one synonym : Charagia coreeba Olliff, 1895)
HEPIALIDAE ,   HEPIALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley & Peter Marriott


listed as Phloiopsyche eximia
Drawing: by Harriet and Helena Scott, Australian Lepidoptera, Volume 2 (1864), plate 11,
courtesy of the Australian Museum.

The Caterpillars of this species are red and hairy, with a buff tussock on the back of each segment. The caterpillars live in tunnels they dig down into the trunk and root of their food tree up to a metre in length. The entrance is usually within a metre of the ground. The have been found feeding in a wide variety of trees, such as :

  • Australian Sassafras ( Doryphora sassafras, MONIMIACEAE ),
  • Cheese Tree ( Glochidion ferdinandi, EUPHORBIACEAE ),
  • Victorian Christmas bush ( Prostanthera lasianthos, LAMIACEAE ),
  • Rose Gum ( Eucalyptus grandis, MYRTACEAE ), and
  • Native Hop Bush ( Dodonea viscosa, SAPINDACEAE ).

    The caterpillars pupate in their tunnel.


    Female
    (Photo: courtesy of Dr David G. Hewitt, Melbourne)

    The male adult moths are blue-green all over.


    Female
    (Photo: from Bayview, New South Wales)

    The females are also mainly green with two spots on each forewing, and have orange hind wings with green borders. The moths have a wingspan of about 7 cms.


    Female

    The hind legs of the male moth are interesting, having brownish hairs/scales fanning out from the knees, probably to do with courting.


    Legs of male moth, showing hairy hind knees

    The species is found in wet forest in

  • southern Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,and
  • Tasmania.


    Male


    Further reading :

    David Carter,
    Butterflies and Moths, Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, p. 295.

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pls. 1.3, 1.5, 23.3, 23.4, p. 148.

    Harriet, Helena, and Alexander W. Scott,
    Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations,
    Australian Lepidoptera, Volume 2 (1869), pp. 7, 14, plate 11.


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

    (updated 12 October 2012, 25 June 2014)