Acyphas chionitis (Turner, 1902)
White Tussock Moth
(previously known as Euproctis chionitis)
LYMANTRIINAE,   EREBIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Acyphas chionitis
early instar
(Photo: courtesy of Dianne Clarke, Maleny, Queensland)

Early instars of these Caterpillars are hairy and pale yellow with a dark brown head, and brown patches behind the thorax and on the tail. The hairs are particularly dense on the tail.

Acyphas chionitis
male
(Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria - Part 2)

The adult moths are white, except that the females have a yellow brush on the tail. The antennae appear to be paler than those of the similar Acyphas semiochrea.

Acyphas chionitis
female
(Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria - Part 2)

The wingspan of a male is about 3 cms. The wingspan of a female is about 3.5 cms.

Acyphas chionitis
male, background digitally darkened
(Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

The eggs are spherical and pale green. They are laid in untidy clusters, and covered in hairs from the tip of the female's abdomen.

Acyphas chionitis
egg cluster, magnified
(Photo: courtesy of, Dianne Clarke, Maleny, Queensland)

The species is found in :

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


    Further reading :

    Peter Marriott ,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 2,
    Tiger Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (A)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 16-19.

    A. Jefferis Turner,
    Descriptions of New Lepidoptera from Queensland,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 26 (1902), p. 177.


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    (updated 27 May 2010, 2 February 2020, 11 March 2021)