Aenetus moorei (Scott, 1864)
HEPIALIDAE,   HEPIALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

The Caterpillars of this species have been found boring into saplings of plants from a number of families, including

  • Snow Daisy-bush ( Olearia lirata, ASTERACEAE ),
  • Silver Wattle ( Acacia dealbata, FABACEAE ),.
  • Mountain Ash ( Eucalyptus regnans, MYRTACEAE ),.
  • Dogwood ( Pomaderris apetala, RHAMNACEAE ), and
  • Satinwood ( Nematolepis squamea, RUTACEAE ).

    The caterpillars appear to feed for 2 to 3 years, boring downwards less than a metre above ground level, to create a borehole with a depth of about 60 cms. The caterpillars pupate in their borehole.

    Aenetus moorei
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Ethan Beaver, Tasmania)

    The male adult moth has green forewings, each with white diagonal bars. The hindwings are white.

    Aenetus moorei
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Ethan Beaver, Tasmania)

    The female adult moths differ from the male moths. The females have green forewings with rusty-brown markings. The hindwings are brown, fading towards the bases.
    The moths have a natural posture of hanging vertically, sometimes with the head bent down and the tail bent out.

    The species occurs in

  • Tasmania.


    Further reading :

    Ethan Beaver,
    A new species of Aenetus Herrich-Schaffer Lepidoptera Hepialidae from Tasmania with notes on the splenden group of species in South Australia,
    Australian Entomologist,
    Volume 46, Part 3 (September 2019), pp. 125-138.

    Thomas J. Simonsen,
    Splendid Ghost Moths and their Allies,
    A Revision of Australian Abantiades, Oncopera, Aenetus, Archaeoaenetus and Zelotypia (Hepialidae),
    Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Volume 12,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 2018.


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    (written 28 October 2019)