(erroneously: Detolinia lineata, Lower 1892)
NOTODONTINAE, NOTODONTIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)
This Caterpillar is very colourful, being mainly pale bluish-green. The head is pale mauve, with a purple line on each side, and a large purple spot above each antenna. The lines on the head join dorsally and extend along the body as a single mid-dorsal line. This is clearer on early instars. In final instars: the line is wide on the thorax, but is narrower and fainter towards the rear of the abdomen. A yellow lateral line extends from the thorax to the tail on each side of the body. A row of purple spots beneath this line give the caterpillar a striking appearance. The caterpillar has four pairs of ventral prolegs. It usually rests with its head down and its thorax raised, grasping the leaf with its prolegs. When disturbed, the tail and head ends are raised.
Our specimens accepted leaves of:
younger caterpillars prefering young leaves, and older caterpillars prefering mature leaves.
Our specimens were similar in appearance to the caterpillars of Sorama bicolor, but Destolmia lineata appeared to:
The caterpillar pupates in a loose cocoon between leaves.
The adult moth is fawn tinged with grey. The fore wings have black zig-zag marks in the basal area, and variable black longitudinal streaks in the outer area. The moth rests with its wings held roofwise, looking rather like a moth from the family COSSIDAE.
The moth, when worried, can erect quadruple pale-edged dark crests behind the head. The wingspan of the male is about 5 cms. The wingspan of the female is about 6 cms.
The eggs are pale green and spherical, and laid with random spacing on the leaves of a foodplant. The egg develops a rusty-brown ring after one day. The caterpillar eats its way out of the side of the egg.
The species is found over most of mainland Australia, including:
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 42.9, pls. 17.4, 29.15, p. 420.
Moths of Victoria: part 2,
Tiger Moths and their Allies - Noctuoidea (A),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 12-13.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 174.
Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
Part 5 (1855), p. 992, No. 1.
(updated 7 April 2013, 7 June 2018, 14 November 2020)