Olene mendosa Hübner, 1823
(one synonym : Dasychira divisa)
LYMANTRIIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Olene mendosa
female
(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.

Olene mendosa
male
(Photo: courtesy of Lara Bullen, Tweed Heads, New South Wales)

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.

Olene mendosa
female
(Photo: courtesy of Lara Bullen, Tweed Heads, New South Wales)

The caterpillars have been reported to feed on the foliage of many plants, including :

  • Orchid Trees ( Bauhinia species, CAESALPINIACEAE ),
  • Terminalia ( Terminalia carolinensis, COMBRETACEAE ),
  • Castor Oil ( Ricinus communis, EUPHORBIACEAE ),
  • Avocado ( Persea americana, LAURACEAE )
  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE ),
  • Macadamia Nuts ( Macadamia integrifolia, PROTEACEAE ), and
  • Lichees ( Litchi chinensis, SAPINDACEAE ).

    Olene mendosa
    (Photo: courtesy of Lara Bullen, Tweed Heads, New South Wales)

    The caterpillar pupates inside a silk cocoon spun in the leaves of the foodplant. The pupa can have a black dorsal mark.

    Olene mendosa
    female with cocoon
    (Photo: courtesy of Cec Siegel, Eagle Heights, Queensland)

    The adult moths are dimorphic. Both sexes have (different) patterns of pale and dark brown on the forewings, buff coloured hindwings, and brown bodies.

    Olene mendosa
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Jan MacDonald, Finch Hatton, Queensland)

    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.

    Olene mendosa
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Ian McMillan, Imbil, Queensland)

    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.

    Olene mendosa
    male
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The species may be found across south east Asia, including :

  • India,
  • Indonesia,
  • Taiwan,
  • Thailand,

    as well as in Australia in:

  • Queensland.

    Olene mendosa
    female, drawing by Jacob Hübner,

    Neuer oder rarer nichteuropäischer Gattungen, Zuträge zur Sammlung exotischer Schmettlinge,
    Volume 2 (1823), Plate 51: fig. 293,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The undersides are simar but the markings less pronounced.

    Olene mendosa
    female, drawing by Jacob Hübner,

    Neuer oder rarer nichteuropäischer Gattungen, Zuträge zur Sammlung exotischer Schmettlinge,
    Volume 2 (1823), Plate 51: fig. 294,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 43.4, p. 428.

    Jacob Hübner,
    Neuer oder rarer nichteuropäischer Gattungen,
    Zuträge zur Sammlung exotischer Schmettlinge,
    Volume 2 (1823), p. 19, No. 147, and also Plate 51: figs. 293, 294.


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    (updated 22 June 2010, 4 October 2014, 9 December 2015, 30 January 2019, 30 April 2019)