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 grey, with black verrucae, and with white spots on the thorax and tail segment.

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

The caterpillar has six red true legs at the front, and two red dorsal glands on the rear.

Orvasca semifusca
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, northern New South Wales)

The caterpillar has been found feeding on

  • Thyme Rice-flower ( Pimelea serpyllifolia, THYMELAEACEAE ).

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

    The cocoon of Orvasca semifusca is off-white and barrel-shaped.

    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 she cannot fly.

    The species has been found in

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales, 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)