Zelotypia stacyi Scott, 1869
Bent Wing Ghost Moth
(one synonym : Xylopsyche stacyii Swainson, 1851)
HEPIALIDAE ,   HEPIALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


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

The Caterpillars of this species bore into the stems and branches of various species of Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE ), includng :

  • Rose Gum ( Eucalyptus grandis ),
  • Sydney Blue Gum ( Eucalyptus saligna ), and
  • Forest Red Gum ( Eucalyptus tereticornis ).

    The caterpillar pupates in its wooden tunnel near the entrance, forming a plug at the entrance before doing so. It pushes this plug out a few days before emerging as a moth.


    female
    (Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences)

    The adult moths are a patchy orange, with a complex pattern along the costa and a vague eyespot on each forewing. The males have a white and a brown diagonal stripe, and a white eye-spot and other white markings on each forewing. The hindwings of both sexes are plain orange. The females have an orange abdomen with a dark brown tip. The male abdomen is plain dark brown. The moths can be very large, having a wingspan up to 25 cms.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Amanda and Dale Hibbert, Central Coast, New South Wales)

    The adult moths are inclined to hang from a branch and look like a dead leaf.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Amanda and Dale Hibbert, Central Coast, New South Wales)

    When disturbed: the moths arch their abdomen.


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Bronwyn Laing, Wallerawang, New South Wales)

    The species occurs in

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    David Carter,
    Butterflies and Moths, Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, p. 294.

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p. 148.

    Axel Kallies,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 6,
    Ghost Moths - HEPIALIDAE and Allies
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2015, pp. 18-19.

    A.S. Olliff,
    Notes on Zelotypia stacyi, and an account of a variety,
    Kabourek, Sokolska, Czech Republic, 1887, 4 pp.

    Alexander Walker Scott,
    Description of a new genus belonging to the family Hepialidae of Stephens,
    Transactions of the Entomological Society of New South Wales,
    Volume 2 (1869) p. 38.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 42.


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    (updated 2 April 2011, 16 March 2017)