Aglaosoma variegata (Walker, 1855)
Patterned Notodontid
(one synonym: Aglaosoma lauta Scott, 1864)
THAUMETOPOEINAE ,   NOTODONTIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Michael Jefferies, Dalcouth, Queensland,)

These caterpillars are pale grey and hairy, with a set of brown dorsal lumps, and rows of blue spots, and have a pale brown head. The caterpillars have two black rings around the thorax. The hairs are brown or black, with pale tips.


drawing by Harriet and Helena Scott, listed as Aglaosoma lauta
,
Australian Lepidoptera, Volume 1 (1864), Plate 5,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Australian Museum.

The caterpillars feed on various plants, including:

  • Mat Rush ( Lomandra species, ASPARAGACEAE ),
  • Beach She Oak ( Casuarina equisetifolia, CASUARINACEAE ),
  • Sydney Wattle ( Acacia longifolia, MIMOSACEAE ), and
  • Heath-Leaved Banksia ( Banksia ericifolia, PROTEACEAE ).

    The caterpillars pupate in cocoons in the ground litter.


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The adult moths have forewings that have a striking pattern of black and white, with some small red spots that fade in museum specimens. The hindwings are plain pale grey or brown with dark veins. The margins of all the wings are chequered. The thorax is black and hairy. The abdomen has alternate bands of black and orange hairs. The male has feathery antennae, and a hairy tail. The female has thread-like antennae, and a naked tail. The wingspan is about 3 cms.


    female
    (Specimen: courtesy of Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The species is found in

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


    female, drawing by Harriet and Helena Scott, listed as Aglaosoma lauta
    ,
    Australian Lepidoptera, Volume 1 (1864), Plate 5,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Australian Museum.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pls. 17.6, 30.7, p. 424.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria: part 2,
    Tiger Moths and their Allies - Noctuoidea (A)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 10-11.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 176.

    Harriet, Helena, and Alexander W. Scott,
    Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations,
    Australian Lepidoptera,
    Volume 1 (1864), p. 15, and also Plate 5.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 4 (1855), pp. 851-852, No. 9.

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


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    (updated 12 May 2013, 3 March 2017)