Paralaea chionopasta McQuillan, Young, & Richardson, 2001
Montane Crest-moth
NACOPHORINI ,   ENNOMINAE ,   GEOMETRIDAE ,   GEOMETROIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Cathy Young & Stella Crossley


fifth instar
(Photo: copyright Cathy Young)

When young, these Caterpillars are brown with a pale brown head. Later they become green with fine purple wavy stripes, a red-edged white dorsal line, and brown-edged purple head.

The caterpillars feed on the foliage of :

  • various Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE ).


    male
    (Photo: copyright Cathy Young)

    When at rest, the moths of this species fold their wing like a tent, unlike many other Geometrids which lay out their wings flat. The moths have a wingspan of about 5 cms.


    female
    (Photo: copyright Cathy Young)

    Both sexes of adult moth have forewings that are greyish-brown flecked with dark grey. The hind wings are a uniform satiny grey, darkening toward the wingtips.

    The species is found in Australia in the highlands of

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

    The eggs are laid in a distinctive formation, at a slight angle to the substrate, and slightly overlapping each other, like roof shingles. The eggs are initially pale bluish-green mottled with paler green, changing later in colour to transparent on maturity. They appear to hatch after rain.


    Further reading :

    Marilyn Hewish,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 5 - Satin Moths and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (A),
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2014, pp. 28-29.

    Peter B. McQuillan, Catherine J. Young, & Alistair M.M. Richardson,
    A revision of the Australian moth genus Paralaea Guest (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Ennominae),
    Invertebrate Taxonomy,
    Volume 15, part 3 (2001), pp. 277-317.

    Catherine J. Young,
    Characterisation of the Australian Nacophorini and a Phylogeny for the Geometridae from Molecular and Morphological Data,
    Ph.D. thesis, University of Tasmania, 2003.


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