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


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

The Caterpillars of this species 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: from Bayview, New South Wales)

    The male adult moths are blue-green all over.


    Female

    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.


    Legs of male moth, showing hairy hind knees

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


    Male

    The species is found in wet forest in

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


    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.


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    (updated 12 October 2012)