Fraus polyspila (Meyrick, 1890)
(previously known as Hectomanes polyspila)
Chequered Fraus
HEPIALIDAE ,   HEPIALOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of the South Australian Research and Development Institute)

These Caterpillars are white with brown heads. They live in vertical tunnels in the soil, which are lined with silk, and have depths up to 7 cms. The caterpillars come out at night to feed. They are sometimes a pest on pastures, totally destroying the vegetation. They have been observed feeding on

  • Veldtgrass ( Erhartaspecies, POACEAE ), and
  • Lucerne ( Medicago sativa, FABACEAE ), and


    (Photo: courtesy of Jenny Holmes, Great Western, Victoria)

    The adult moths of this species are brown with pale spots, but the scales on the wings are very loose, easily rubbing off. The female moths have a wingspan of about 3.5 cms. The males have a wingspan of about 2.5 cms.


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

    The species is found over most of the southern third of Australia, including:

  • 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. 10-11.

    Edward Meyrick,
    Revision of Australian Lepidoptera IV,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 2, Volume 4, Part 4 (1890), p. 1127, No. 13.

    Nielsen E.S. & Kristensen N.P.
    Primitive Ghost Moths : Morphology and Taxonomy of the Australian Genus Fraus Walker (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae s. lat.)
    Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Volume 1,
    CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 1989.


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

    (updated 8 February 2013, 17 September 2013)