Capusa cuculloides (R. Felder, 1874)
White-winged Wedge-moth
(previously known as: Teinocladia cuculloides)
Don Herbison-Evans
Cathy Young & Stella Crossley

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

This Caterpillar is initially green with a dark brown dorsal line. In later instars, the dorsal line breaks into a series of dark patches, one on each segment.

(Photo: copyright Cathy Young)

In the last instars, the dorsal line only extends along the thorax, and a becomes a series of brown spots on the abdomenal segments, The spiracles are white with red outlines. It feeds on the foliage of plants in MYRTACEAE such as

  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus species ), and
  • Geraldton Wax ( Chamelaucium uncinatum ),

    as well as other plants including

  • Golden Wattle ( Acacia pycnantha, MIMOSACEAE ), and
  • Peruvian Pepper ( Schinus molle, ANACARDIACEAE ).

    (Photo: copyright Cathy Young)

    Later, the caterpillar becomes reddish, especially the head and tail, but retaining the same markings.

    (Photo: copyright Cathy Young)

    The adult moth of this species has pale grey patterned forewings with dark veins. The hindwings are plain white. The wingspan of the males is about 5 cms. The wingspan of the females is about 6 cms.

    (Photo: copyright Cathy Young)

    Unusually for Geometrids, it folds its wings tightly along its back when at rest, making a shape that tapers to a point at the end of the abdomen.

    female, drawing by Rudolf Felder, listed as Teinocladia cuculloides
    Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Heft IV, Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (1875), plate XCVI, fig. 9,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The eggs are laid in a close array. Initially they are white with a dark spot, but become darker as hatching approaches. Their shape is roughly spherical with a fine hexagonal pattern embossed on the surface.

    eggs magnified
    (Photo: copyright Cathy Young)

    The species has been found in:

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

    Further reading :

    Marilyn Hewish,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 5,
    Satin Moths and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (A)
    Entomological Society of Victoria,
    2014, pp. 5, 18-19, 30-31.

    Rudolf Felder,
    Atlas der Heterocera Sphingida. Noctuida,
    in R. Felder & A.F. Rogenhofer: Reise der Österreichischen Fregatte Novara um die Erde,
    Heft IV, Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (1875), p. 9, and also Plate 96, fig. 9.

    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.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 1 April 2011, 26 September 2013, 7 June 2014, 16 January 2016)