Musotima nitidalis (Walker, 1866)
(one synonym : Diathaustra timaralis R. Felder & Rogenhofer, 1875)
MUSOTIMINAE ,   CRAMBIDAE ,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Musotima nitidalis
(Photo: courtesy of Laura Levens, Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria)

The caterpillars of this species are pale green with a transparent skin. They live in a sparse web, feeding on the undersides of the leaves of various Ferns ( POLYPODIOPHYTA ) including:

  • Maidenhair Fern ( Adiantum aethiopicum ), and
  • Bracken ( Pteridium esculentum ).

    The pupa is formed in a folded foodplant leaf, held folded by strands of white silk.

    Musotima nitidalis
    beginning to unroll its proboscis
    (Photo: courtesy of Laura Levens, Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria)

    The adult moths of this species are brown with various white markings outlined in black on each forewing. The hindwings are mainly white, with brown margins. The wingspan is about 2.5 cms.

    Musotima nitidalis
    with proboscis extended
    (Photo: courtesy of Laura Levens, Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria)

    The species has been found in :

  • New Zealand,

    and over much of Australia, including:

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

    Musotima nitidalis
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Laura Levens, Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria)


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p. 352.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 34, Supplement 4 (1866), pp. 1317-1318.


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    (updated 8 September 2011)