Epyaxa sodaliata (Walker, 1862)
Sodaliata Moth
(one synonym : Eucymatoge peplodes Turner, 1904)
XANTHORHOINI,   LARENTIINAE,   GEOMETRIDAE,   GEOMETROIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


early instar
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

The early instar of this caterpillar is green and smooth, with a faint white lateral line each side, and with pale yellow shading between the segments.


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

The mature larva is brown dorsally with a dark brown herring-bone pattern. Underneath it is pale brown.


late instar
(Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

The caterpillar has been found feeding on :

  • Scarlet Pimpernel ( Anagallis arvensis, PRIMULACEAE ),

    but has been reared successfully on:

  • Forget-me-not ( Myosotis arvensis, BORAGINACEAE ), and
  • Burr Medic ( Medicago polymorpha, FABACEAE ).

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 2 cms. The life cycle is short, with the caterpillar stage only taking about 25 days in summer in Melbourne.


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

    The pupal stage lasts 12-18 days in summer in Melbourne.


    female

    The adult has forewings that are brown, traversed by variable wavy bands and lines. Similar bands occur on the body. The pattern on the hindwings is less pronounced. In its resting posture, the moth usually holds the wings flat, with the hindwings covered by the forewings. This moth sometimes rests with the wings folded up vertically like a butterfly.


    The underside is like the top only the colouring is less marked. The moths have a wingspan of about 3 cms.


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

    The eggs are ellipsoidal with a minute surface pattern. Initially the eggs are pale green, and grow brown and darker as hatching approaches.


    eggs, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Steve Williams, Moths of Victoria: Part 3)

    The species have been found in

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


    Further reading:

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 3,
    Waves & Carpets - GEOMETROIDEA (C)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2011, pp. 26-27.

    Francis Walker,
    Geometrites,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 25 (1862), p. 1410, No. 73.


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    (updated 9 September 2013, 2 June 2018)