Stathmopoda melanochroa Meyrick, 1897
(also known as : Anatrachyntis falcatella)
STATHMOPODINAE ,   OECOPHORIDAE ,   GELECHIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Stathmopoda melanochroa
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Concord, New South Wales)

This Caterpillar is carnivorous. It feeds on various species of Scale Insect ( COCCOIDEA ) such as :

  • Gumtree Scale ( Eriococcus coriaceus ) (on Gums: MYRTACEAE),
  • Wax Scale ( Ceroplastes species ) (on Figs : MORACEAE), and
  • Wattle Tick Scale ( Cryptes baccatus ) (on Wattles : MIMOSACEAE).

    It lives in a silk tube on a leaf amongst the prey.

    It pupates in its silk shelter.

    Stathmopoda melanochroa
    (Picture: courtesy of CSIRO Entomology)

    The adult moth has pale forewings with a number of bold black markings. The hindwings are white. The moth has a wingspan of about 2 cms. It has a peculiar resting posture, with the back legs stuck up in the air.

    The species was found in the eastern half of Australia, including

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

    and has been introduced into

  • New Zealand to control Eriococcus coriaceus on Gum Tree plantations.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 22.13, p. 226.

    Edward Meyrick,
    Descriptions of Australian Micro-Lepidoptera. XVII. Elachistidae,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Volume 22, Part 2 (1897), p. 321.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths,
    CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 65.


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    (updated 31 January 2013, 11 February 2014)