Capusa senilis Walker, 1857
Black-banded Wedge-moth
(one synonym : Chlenias umbraticaria Guenée, 1857)
Don Herbison-Evans
Cathy Byrne & Stella Crossley

Capusa senilis
(Photo: courtesy of Cathy Byrne)

This Caterpillar is initially green with yellow spots, white spiracles with dark outlines, and has red true legs.

Capusa senilis
(Photo: courtesy of Cathy Byrne)

Later its body becomes yellow, with a partial dark line along the middle of the back, retaining the black and white spiracles, and has a dark head.

Capusa senilis
(Photo: courtesy of Cathy Byrne)

Later still it becomes reddish-brown, with a partial dark line along the middle of the back, again retaining the black and white spiracles.

The caterpillar feeds on the foliage of :

  • plants from the Pea family ( FABACEAE ),
  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus species, MYRTACEAE ), and
  • Pine trees ( PINACEAE ).

    Capusa senilis
    (Photo: courtesy of Aila Keto, Springbrook, Queensland)

    The adult moth has grey forewings, with a broad pale stripe along the each wing, and a broad irregular dark band across the middle. The hindwings are mainly white with black wingtips.

    Capusa senilis
    (Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Aranda, Australian Capital Territory)

    The resting pose is unusual for Geometrids. The hairs on the thorax make a double crest that it can project forward over the head, and the moth folds its wings tightly along its back, making a wedge shape that tapers to a point at the end of the abdomen.

    Capusa senilis
    (Photo: courtesy of John Bromilow, Ainslie, Australian Capital Territory)

    The underside of each hindwing is off-white with a broad dark band along the margin. The wingspan is about 5 cms.

    Capusa senilis
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The eggs are white with a dark dimple in the top, and are roughly spherical with a fine hexangonal embossed pattern. They are laid in a regular array.

    Capusa senilis
    eggs, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Cathy Byrne)

    The species is found over the south-eastern quarter of Australia, including

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

    Capusa senilis
    head, close-up
    (Photo: courtesy of Aila Keto, Springbrook, Queensland)

    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 34.13, pp. 67, 365.

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

    Francis Walker,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 11 (1857), p. 621, No. 1.

    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.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 26 September 2010, 7 May 2023)