Androchela milvaria (Guenée, 1857)
Four-spot Cape-moth
(also known as Amelora milvaria)
Don Herbison-Evans
Cathy Byrne & Stella Crossley

early instars
(Photo: copyright Cathy Byrne)

These Caterpillars are initially brown with dark markings.

later instar
(Photo: copyright Cathy Byrne)

Later they become green with a broad red dorsal stripe and a red head. The caterpillars feed on plants from a wide variety of families, including :

  • MYRTACEAE, and

    Androchela milvaria
    forming its cocoon
    Androchela milvaria
    naked pupa extracted
    from inside a cocoon
    Photos: courtesy of Steve Williams, Moths of Victoria: Part 5

    The caterpillar pupates in a cocoon in the soil.

    (Photo: copyright Cathy Byrne)

    The adult moths are brown with a submarginal arc of dark spots and a larger dark mark near the centre of each wing. The forewings have slightly hooked wingtips. The hindwings are greyer, darkening toward the margins, each with the black central mark. the wingspan is about 4 cms.

    (Photo: courtesy of Cathy Powers, Moorabool, Victoria)

    Some specimens have a very broad dark band across the middle of each forewing.

    female, drawing by Achille Guenée, listed as Scodiona milvaria
    Uranides et Phalénites, in Boisduval & Guenée:
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 9, Part 10 (1858), Plate 8, fig. 8,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The eggs are laid in arrays, and are rounded cubes. Initially they are white, later developing red spots as hatching approaches.

    eggs, magnified
    (Photo: copyright Cathy Byrne)

    The species has been found in

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

    undersides of wings
    (Photo: courtesy of Marilyn Hewish, Moths of Victoria: Part 5)

    Further reading :

    Cathy Byrne,
    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. 34.20, p. 365.

    Achille Guenée,
    Uranides et Phalénites,
    in Boisduval & Guenée:
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 9, Part 10 (1858), p. 140, No. 1148, and also Plate 8, fig. 8.

    Marilyn Hewish,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 5 - Satin Moths and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (A),
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2014, pp. 12-13.

    Peter B. McQuillan,
    The Tasmanian Geometrid Moths Associated with the Genus Amelora auctorum (Lepidoptera : Geometridae : Ennomina) (sic),
    Invertebrate Taxonomy,
    Volume 10, Number 3 (1996), pp. 433-506.

    Peter B. McQuillan,
    An overview of the Tasmanian geometrid moth fauna (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) and its conservation status,
    Journal of Insect Conservation,
    Volume 8 (2004), Parts 2-3, pp. 209-220.

    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. 131.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 20 July 2010, 27 September 2014, 16 January 2016, 17 March 2021)