(previously known as Hectomanes polyspila)
(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
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.
The species is found over most of the southern third of Australia, including:
Further reading :
Moths of Victoria - Part 6,
Ghost Moths - HEPIALIDAE and Allies,
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2015, pp. 10-11.
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.
(updated 8 February 2013, 26 April 2018, 9 April 2021)