Oncopera fasciculatus (Walker, 1869)
Underground Grassgrub
(formerly known as Hepialus fasciculatus)
HEPIALIDAE ,   HEPIALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Oncopera fasciculatus
(Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

These caterpillars live in vertical tunnels in the soil. They emerge at night to feed on various leaves. They are a pest at times in pastures.

The adult moths have brown forewings with a pattern of dark splotches. The hindwings are plain brown.

The males emerge from pupae before the females on suitable evenings and fly to and fro in straight lines apparently waiting for the females to emerge. The males then chase the females, and couples then settle to the ground to mate.

The eggs are laid while the female flutters in low foliage.

The species is found in :

  • Victoria,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pp. 47, 145, 149.

    Francis Walker,
    Characters of undescribed Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    E.W. Janson, London, 1869, p. 68, No. 11.


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    (updated 2 February 2009)