Brown Pasture Looper or Forked Pasture-moth
(one synonym : Chlenias crambaria Felder & Rogenhofer, 1875)
NACOPHORINI, ENNOMINAE, GEOMETRIDAE, GEOMETROIDEA
Cathy Byrne & Stella Crossley
(Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, at Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)
These Caterpillars are dark brown with a pale line each side along the shoulders, and with various orange markings. The head is pale brown with many small pale markings. The caterpillars are inclined to rest at the bottom of a foodplant curled up, looking like a new unfurled leaf of the plant.
The caterpillars are a pest on pastures, feeding on many herbaceous plants, including :
The adult moths have brown or grey forewings, with a pattern of forked and zigzag light and dark lines. The hindwings are a uniform pale fawn colour. The moths have a wingspan of about 3 cms.
The moths display their labial palps pointing forward.
The species occurs over most of Australia, including
The eggs are white and roughly spherical. They are laid in arrays of about 100 on any available surface, even a stem of grass.
Further reading :
Characterisation of the Australian Nacophorini and a Phylogeny for the Geometridae from Molecular and Morphological Data,
Ph.D. thesis, University of Tasmania, 2003.
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 34.12, pp. 67, 364.
Rudolf Felder & Alois F. Rogenhofer,
Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (5) (1875), p. 6, and also Plate 133, fig. 12.
Uranides et Phalénites II,
in Boisduval & Guenée:
Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
Volume 9, Part 10 (1857), pp. 239-240, No. 1316.
Moths of Victoria: Part 5 - Satin Moths and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (A),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2014, pp. 20-21.
Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), p. 124.
(updated 2 May 2010, 7 January 2013, 8 October 2013, 31 December 2015, 28 October 2020)