Oligeria hemicalla (Lower, 1905)
Tiny Tussock Moth
(previously known as : Orgyia hemicalla)
LYMANTRIINAE,   EREBIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Oligeria hemicalla
(Photo: courtesy of David Akers, Won Wron, Victoria)

The Caterpillar of this species is thought to be grey and hairy, with a double row of white spots along the back, a pair of yellow spots behind the thorax, and a red gland on the back of each of the penultimate two segments. The hairs around the head project diagonally forward like cats' whiskers. The caterpillar is thought to feed on

  • Wattles ( Acacia species, MIMOSACEAE ).

    Oligeria hemicalla
    cocoon
    (Photo: courtesy of David Akers, Won Wron, Victoria)

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 2 cms. It pupates in a dense brown silk cocoon on the foodplant.

    Oligeria hemicalla
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Nick Monaghan, Mt. Dandenong, Victoria)

    The adult male moth is dark brown except for a broad orange margin on each hindwing. It has a wingspan of about 2 cms.

    Oligeria hemicalla
    wingless female mating with male
    (Photo: courtesy of David Akers, Won Wron, Victoria)

    The female is brown and hairy, with a length of about 1 cm. She is cylindrical and has vestigial wings, and cannot fly.

    Oligeria hemicalla
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The moths seem to prefer the vicinity of a creek. The species has been found in

  • New South Wales, and
  • Victoria.


    Further reading :

    Oswald B. Lower,
    Descriptions of New Australian Lepidoptera with Synonymic Notes. No. XXIII,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 29 (1905), p. 176.

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


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    (updated 11 April 2011, 21 December 2015)