Aenetus thermistis (Lower, 1894)
(one synonym is Charagia walsinghami Olliff, 1895)
HEPIALIDAE,   HEPIALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Aenetus thermistis
male, listed as Aenetus tegulatus
Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, from
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art

The Caterpillars of this species are basically cream coloured, and have been found boring the wood of:

  • She-Oaks ( Casuarina species, CASUARINACEAE ), and
  • Cheese Trees ( Glochidion species, PHYLLANTHACEAE ).

    Aenetus thermistis
    female, green form
    (Photo: courtesy of Ethan Beaver, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The adult moths have mottled brown or bright green forewings, and bright pink hindwings. The female has a wingspan of about 10 cms.

    Aenetus thermistis
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Ethan Beaver, Atherton, Queensland)

    The male adult moth differs from the female in being smaller and paler. The underside of the male is mainly pink.

    Aenetus thermistis
    underside, male
    (Photo: courtesy of Ethan Beaver, Atherton, Queensland)

    Both sexes have long abdomens, that project beyond the wings in their natural resting posture. The adults are nocturnal fliers, and are attracted to lights.

    Aenetus thermistis
    female, brown form, listed as Aenetus tegulatus
    Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, from
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art

    The species occurs in Australia in

  • Queensland.

    Aenetus thermistis
    female, brown form
    (Photo: courtesy of Cris Lane, Bellenden Ker, Queensland)

    Australian specimens of this species have formerly been wrongly identified as the Indonesian species Aenetus tegulatus.


    Further reading :

    Ethan Beaver, Michael D. Moore, Alejandro Velasco-Castrillón, John R. Grehan, Mark I. Stevens,
    Four new species of Splendid Ghost Moths (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae: Aenetus) from Australia and Papua New Guinea,
    Zootaxa,
    Volume 47809, Part 3 (July 2020), pp. 449-474.

    Oswald B. Lower,
    New Australian Heterocera,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 18 (1894), p. 77.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 96 (listed as Aenetus tegulatus).


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    (written 8 August 2020, updated 18 August 2020)