Chlenias nodosus (Swinhoe, 1892)
(formerly known as Asteroscopus nodosus)
NACOPHORINI,   ENNOMINAE,   GEOMETRIDAE,   GEOMETROIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Chlenias nodosus
(Photo: courtesy of Robin Sharp, Korong Vale, Victoria)

The body of the Caterpillar of this species is coloured by four broad dark stripes separated by narrow yellow stripes, which meet dorsally and ventrally at a central narrow yellow stripe. Each broad stripe is black containing three irregular broken white lines. The ventral broad stripes include dark patches where the three pairs of atrophied prolegs would be located.

The head is pale brown with dark specks. The true legs are red and there is a red mark just above each penultimate proleg.

The caterpillar has been found feeding on:

  • Flinders Range Wattle (Acacia iteaphylla, MIMOSACEAE).

    The caterpillars grow to a length up to 4 cms.

    Chlenias nodosus
    cocoon covered in soil
    (Photo: courtesy of Robin Sharp, Korong Vale, Victoria)

    The caterpillar pupates in the soil in a cocoon incorporating soil particles.

    Chlenias nodosus
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Ian Baird, O'Connor, Australian Capital Territory)

    The adult moths of this species have grey forewings, each with a pattern including a submarginal set of dark longitudinal brown-edged dashes. The hindwings are pale brown darkening toward the edges. The wingspan is about 3 cms.

    Chlenias nodosus
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The species has been found in:

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

    The adult moths of the various species in the genus Chlenias are all very variable, and appear to be more variable than the variations between the species. The identification of the specimens pictured here may prove to be wrong when more work is done on this genus.

    Chlenias nodosus
    male, drawing by Charles Swinhoe, listed as Asteroscopus nodosus
    ,
    Catalogue of eastern and Australian Lepidoptera Heterocera in the collection of the Oxford University Museum,
    Part 1: Sphinges and Bombyces (1892), Plate VIII, Fig. 13,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.


    Further Reading

    Charles Swinhoe,
    Sphinges and Bombyces,
    Catalogue of Eastern and Australian Lepidoptera Heterocera in the Collection of the Oxford University Museum,
    Clarendon Press, Part 1 (1892), p. 299, No. 1384 and also Plate 8, fig. 13.


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    (written 14 August 2018, updated 4 June 2020, 28 February 2021)