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

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

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

    (Photo: copyright Cathy Byrne)

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

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

    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 Byrne)

    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.

    (Photo: copyright Cathy Byrne)

    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 Byrne)

    The species has been found in:

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

    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.

    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, 31 May 2017, 2 June 2017, 3 June 2018)