(one synonym : Dasychira divisa)
LYMANTRIINAE, EREBIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Jan MacDonald, Finch Hatton, Queensland)
The Caterpillar of this species is hairy, with a generally brown or black body, and rusty-brown head and legs. The female caterpillar has four white or brown dorsal tussocks on the first four abdominal segments. The male caterpillars can have three dorsal tussocks, and also a dorsal red gland on each of the two antipenultimate abdominal segments.
The caterpillars of both sexes also have a pair of black hair pencils: one each side of the head, a white lateral tussock each side of abdominal segments one and two, a black or brown hair pencil on the tail. Possibly the females also have black lateral tufts on the second abdominal segment under the white ones, and black dorsal marks between the first three dorsal tufts.
The caterpillars have been reported to feed on the foliage of many plants, including :
The caterpillar pupates inside a silk cocoon spun in the leaves of the foodplant. The pupa can have a black dorsal mark.
The adult moths are dimorphic. Both sexes have (different) patterns of pale and dark brown on the forewings, buff coloured hindwings, and brown bodies.
The males have forewings each with an anterior pale half extending from the costa, and a darker posterior half extending from the hind-margin, with a very ragged boundary separating the two halves. The male moths have a wingspan of about 3 cms.
The females have a narrow ragged pale patch along the forewing costa, and a pale area along the hind margin edged by a powdery white area. The wingspan of females is about 4 cms.
The eggs are off-white with brown tops. They are often laid in an array near the cocoon.
The species may be found across south east Asia, including :
as well as in Australia in:
The undersides are simar but the markings less pronounced.
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 43.4, p. 428.
Neuer oder rarer nichteuropäischer Gattungen,
Zuträge zur Sammlung exotischer Schmettlinge,
Volume 2 (1823), p. 19, No. 147, and also Plate 51: figs. 293, 294.
(updated 22 June 2010, 4 October 2014, 9 December 2015, 30 January 2019, 30 April 2019, 26 July 2020)