Mnesampela comarcha Guest, 1887
Dry-leaf Gum Moth
(previously known as Amelora amblopa)
NACOPHORINI ,   ENNOMINAE ,   GEOMETRIDAE ,   GEOMETROIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Cathy Young & Stella Crossley

Mnesampela comarcha
(Photo: copyright Cathy Young)

These Caterpillars are brown with orange dots. Their claspers are splayed out like a fish tail, and there are a pair of fleshy knobs on the second abdominal segment.

The caterpillars feed on the mature foliage of :

  • various Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus species, MYRTACEAE ).

    The caterpillars pupate on the ground in a cocoon which they cover with debris.

    Mnesampela comarcha
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Marilyn Hewish, Moths of Victoria: Part 5)

    The adult moths are brownish purple, with a vague pale or dark mark halfway along the inner margin of each forewing. The forewings have recurved wingtips, and the hindwings each have an angular tornus. The wingspan is about 3.5 cms.

    The moth usually rests with the hindwings covered. The females have thread-like antennae. The males have very feathery antennae.

    Mnesampela comarcha
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Jenny Holmes, Great Western, Victoria)

    The species has been found in:

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

    Mnesampela comarcha
    showing the underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Marilyn Hewish, Moths of Victoria: Part 5)

    The eggs are laid in a row along the edge of a leaf. The eggs are egg-shaped and white with dark purplish-brown specks that expand to colour the whole egg as it approaches hatching.

    Mnesampela comarcha
    eggs
    (Photo: courtesy of Steve Williams, Moths of Victoria: Part 5)


    Further reading :

    Edward Guest,
    A classified list of Geometrina found around Balhannah, with notes on species,
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
    Volume 9 (1887), p. 139, No. 16.

    Marilyn Hewish,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 5 - Satin Moths and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (A),
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2014, pp. 18-19, 32-33, back cover.

    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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    (updated 19 September 2011, 17 September 2013, 7 June 2014, 11 January 2016)