Microdes villosata Guenée, 1857
Distorted Carpet
(one synonym : Panagra mixtaria Walker, 1863)
EUPITHECIINI,   LARENTIINAE,   GEOMETRIDAE,   GEOMETROIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Microdes villosata
early instar
(Photo: courtesy of Steve Williams, Moths of Victoria: Part 3)

These Caterpillars are initially yellowish green with a pair of black dots on the back of each segement. The caterpillars are missing three pairs of prolegs, so the caterpillars walk in a looper fashion. Initially the caterpillars feed on the flowers of various

  • Wattles ( Acacia species, MIMOSACEAE )

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

    Later instars become bluish green with a pale brown head, and the body develops a corrugated appearance. These later instars feed on the leaves of their foodplant.

    Microdes villosata
    (Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Aranda, Australian Capital Territory)

    The adult moths of this species have a complex grey-brown pattern on the forewings. The hindwings significantly smaller than the forewings, having only about 60% of the area of the forewings.

    Microdes villosata
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: Part 3)

    The females have a muted grey-brown pattern on the hindwings. The males have an extra messy brown patch near the middle of each hindwing. The moths have a wingspan of about 2 cms.

    Microdes villosata
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: Part 3)

    The undersides are plain grey, except the males have a dark patch near the middle of each hindwing.

    Microdes villosata
    male, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Wendy Moore, Moths of Victoria: Part 3)

    The eggs are ellipsoidal with microscopic pitting. The eggs are laid in irregular clusters. The eggs are initially white, but turn brown as hatching approaches.

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

    The species occurs in

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


    Further reading:

    Achille Guenée,
    Uranides et Phalénites,
    in Boisduval & Guenée:
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 9, Part 10 (1857), p. 297, No. 1386, and also Plate 15, fig. 8.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 3,
    Waves & Carpets - GEOMETROIDEA (C)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2011, pp. 30-31.


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    (updated 13 September 2013, 2 June 2018)