Iropoca rotundata (Walker, 1855)
Iropoca Moth
(one synonym : Anthela sydneyensis Strand, 1929)
LYMANTRIIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
( donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


caterpillar forming its cocoon
(Photo: courtesy of Steven Dodge, Nowra, New South Wales)

The Caterpillar of this species has 4 grey tufts on its back, and copious long white hairs along its sides. The caterpillar feeds on the foliage of various

  • Gum Trees (Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE).


    cocoon
    (Photo: courtesy of Steven Dodge, Nowra, New South Wales)

    The cocoon is white and incorporates the hairs of the caterpillar.


    Male
    (Photo: courtesy of Ken Harris, Morwell Park, Victoria)

    The adult moths are dimorphic.

    The male is off-white with a pattern of dark brown markings on its forewings, and plain brown hind wings. Its body is covered in orange hair. There is a tranparent aereole on each forewing. The male moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms.


    Female
    (Photo: courtesy of Steven Dodge, Nowra, New South Wales)

    The female has only vestigial wings, and cannot fly. The female looks like a big ball of off-white hair. She is larger than the male, with a length of about 2.5 cms.


    Male, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Joan Fearn, Batemans Bay, New South Wales)

    The species is found in

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria, and
  • Tasmania.


    Mating pair
    (Photo: courtesy of Steven Dodge, Nowra, New South Wales)

    The female stays with the cocoon from which she emerged, emitting pheromones to attract a male. She lays her eggs among the hairs of the cocoon.


    Eggs, amongst the hairs of the female's cocoon
    (Photo: courtesy of Steven Dodge, Nowra, New South Wales)

    The eggs are round and white, with a dark spot at one end.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, figs. 43.5, 43.6, p. 428.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria: part 2,
    Tiger Moths and their Allies - Noctuoidea (A)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 18-19.

    Francis Walker,
    Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 4 (1855), p. 851, No. 7.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 178.


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    (updated 2 September 2011, 22 July 2015, 16 February 2019)