Chrysolarentia gypsomela (Lower, 1892)
Gypsum Carpet
(previously known as Hydriomena gypsomela) XANTHORHOINI,   LARENTIINAE,   GEOMETRIDAE,   GEOMETROIDEA
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Chrysolarentia gypsomela
(Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: Part 3)

The Caterpillars of this species are a mottled brown. They feed nocturnally, hiding on the ground under leaves by day. The caterpillars have been found feeding on variety of herbaceous plants including

  • Plantain ( Plantago species, PLANTAGINACEAE ), and
  • Wireweed ( Polygonum species, POLYGONACEAE.

    Pupation occurs in a flimsy cocoon among the leaf litter.

    The adult moths have dark brown wings with two variable broad pale zigzag bands across each forewing. The hindwings are paler with a vestigial pattern. The males and females are similar to each other. The resting posture of the moth has the wings flat, and the forewings covering the hindwings. The moths have a wingspan of about 2.5 cms.

    Chrysolarentia gypsomela
    (Photo: courtesy of Steve Williams, Moths of Victoria: Part 3)

    The oval eggs are initially off-white, turning green as they near hatching. They are laid singly near a foodplant.

    The species has been found in

  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory,
  • Victoria, and
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    The name of this moth may be a junior synonym of Chrysolarentia argodesma Meyrick, 1891 which looks superficially very similar.

    Further reading:

    Oswald B. Lower,
    Descriptions of New South Australian Lepidoptera,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 15 (1892), p. 11.

    Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
    Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
    Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), p. 112.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 3,
    Waves & Carpets - GEOMETROIDEA (C)
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2011, pp. 16-17.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (written 3 March 2013, updated 30 April 2018, 13 October 2019, 31 March 2021)