Orvasca semifusca (Walker, 1869)
Coastal Browntail Moth
(one synonym : Porthesia irrorata Lucas, 1892)
LYMANTRIIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
donherbisonevans@outlook.com
and
Stella Crossley

Orvasca semifusca
(Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: Part 2)

This caterpillar is black, with white spots on the thorax, and has six red true legs at the front, and two red dorsal glands on the rear.

Orvasca semifusca
head and thorax
(Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: Part 2)

The caterpillar is superficially similar to that of Euproctis melanosoma. The cocoon is different.

Orvasca semifusca
empty cocoon
(Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: Part 2)

The cocoon of Orvasca semifusca is barrel-like, whereas that of Euproctis melanosoma is a fluffy mess.

Orvasca semifusca
male
(Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

The adult male moth has a brown body, and dark brown forewings. The hindwings are orange. The male moth has a wingspan of about 2 cms.

Orvasca semifusca
female
(Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: Part 2)

The female is black with white legs and a wide brown tuft on her tail. The female has long narrow forewings, and tiny hindwings, and cannot fly.

The species has been found in

  • Queensland, and
  • Victoria.


    Further reading :

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

    Thomas P. Lucas,
    On 34 new species of Australian Lepidoptera, with additional localities,
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland,
    Volume 8 (1892), pp. 77-78.

    Francis Walker,
    Characters of undescribed Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    E.W. Janson, London, 1869, pp. 65-66, No. 4.


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    (updated 2 August 2010)