Epicoma derbyana Strand, 1929
THAUMETOPOEINAE,   NOTODONTIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Epicoma derbyana
(Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)

These caterpillars are black and very hairy, with a brown head. The caterpillars have a brown tuft on the back of each segment, and a white line along each side above the legs.

Epicoma derbyana
(Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)

The caterpillars feed on the leaves of

  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus species, MYRTACEAE )

    Epicoma derbyana
    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)

    The caterpillars feed communally in broad daylight.

    Epicoma derbyana
    cocoon in leaf litter
    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)

    The caterpillars pupate in pale dense silk cocoons under leaf litter underneath their food tree.

    Epicoma derbyana
    Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, from
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art

    The forewings of thadult moths are white, each with a lot of brown speckles, a subterminal brown line, and a brown band along the margin containing a row of white spots, and chequered edges. The hindwings are brown, and also have a marginal row of white spots and chequered edges. The thorax is brown and very hairy. Tha abdomen is black, tipped with a bunch of golden hairs. The wingspan is about 3 cms.

    Epicoma derbyana
    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The species is found in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    Further reading

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 178.

    Embrik Strand,
    Indo-Australian Bombyces and Sphinges,
    in Adalbert Seitz (ed.): The Macrolepidoptera of the World,
    Stuttgart : Alfred Kernen Verlag, Part 10 (1929), p. 376.


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    (updated 12 March 2010, 20 August 2018, 28 March 2019)