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

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

The Caterpillar of this species is hairy, with four white or brown dorsal tussocks, two pairs of white lateral tussocks, a black hair pencil on the tail, and a pair of black hair pencils each side of the head. The head and true legs are red.

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

It is 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 Jan MacDonald, Finch Hatton, Queensland)

    The Caterpillar pupates inside a silk cocoon spun between the leaves of the foodplant.

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

    The adult moth is dimorphic. Both sexes have (different) patterns of light and dark brown on the fore wings, buff coloured hind wings, and brown bodies. The male has a wingspan of about 3 cms.

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

    The female has an aereole (tranparent area with no scales) on each forewing, and a wingspan of 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)