Birthana cleis (R. Felder & Rogenhofer, 1875)
(previously known as Bursada cleis)
IMMIDAE ,   IMMOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Birthana cleis
(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

These caterpillars have been found feeding gregariously on the foliage of the Mistletoe:

  • Decaisnina signata ( LORANTHACEAE ).

    The caterpillars pupate on a leaf in a circular communal cocoon.

    Birthana cleis
    male, drawing by Rudolf Felder, listed as Bursada cleis,

    Atlas der Heterocera Sphingida, Noctuida, Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Lepidoptera. Heft IV, V, Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (1875), Plate CXXX, Fig. 22,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The adult moths are black, with a wide orange stripe across each wing.

    The eggs approximately have a diameter of about 2 mm. They are white and circular with a raised yellow middle.

    The species has been found in

  • Ambon,

    as well as in Australia in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 7.29, p. 312.

    Rudolf Felder & Alois F. Rogenhofer,
    Zoologischer Theil: Lepidoptera,
    Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (1875), p. 5, and also Plate 130, Fig. 22.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 98.


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    (updated 23 February 2011)