Epicoma protrahens (T.P. Lucas, 1890)
(previously known as : Teara protrahens)
THAUMETOPOEINAE ,   NOTODONTIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Epicoma protrahens

These Caterpillars are communal at first, living in a silken web on their food plant. They have been found on various plants from MYRTACEAE including:

  • Prickly Bottlebrush ( Callistemon brachyandrus ), and
  • Paperbarks ( Melaleuca species ).

    Epicoma protrahens

    Later instars separate and feed in solitude. They are yellow and hairy, with a dorsal black spot on each of the first two abdominal segments, and a dark band along each side of the body. They have orange legs and a brown head.

    They become communal again at pupation time. They pupate in adjacent cocoons, between leaves of the food plant.

    Epicoma protrahens
    (Photo: courtesy of Jim Foster, taken at Evans Head, NSW)

    The adult moths have fore wings that are dark brown speckled with silver flecks, with a large white spot near the centre, a broken yellow line along the termen and costa, and a subterminal row of cream spots. They have a wingspan of about 2 cms.

    Epicoma protrahens

    The species has been found in

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales, and
  • Victoria.


    Further reading :

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths,
    CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 173.


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    (updated 3 January 2012)