Chrysodeixis subsidens (Walker, 1858)
(one synonym : Plusia pseudochalcytes)
PLUSIINAE ,   NOCTUIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Chrysodeixis subsidens
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Sydney, New South Wales)

Caterpillars of this species are semi-loopers because some of their ventral prolegs are reduced and this makes them move looper fashion, like the Caterpillars of GEOMETRIDAE.

The Caterpillar is an agricultural pest at times, attacking:

  • Cabbage ( Brassica oleracea, BRASSICACEAE ),
  • Silver Beet ( Beta vulgaris cicla, CHENOPODIACEAE ),
  • Spearmint ( Mentha spicata, LAMIACEAE ), and
  • Tomato ( Lycopersicum esculentum, SOLANACEAE ).

    They also attack other plants such as:

  • Capeweed ( Arctotheca calendula, ASTERACEAE ).

    Chrysodeixis subsidens

    The adult moth is predominently brown in colour, with bunched hairs on its head which look like a short pair of horns. On each forewing is a silvery figure of eight, with the segments fused together, unlike its kindred species: Chrysodeixis eriosoma, in which the parts are separated. The hindwings are fawn in colour with a dark brown terminal area. The moths have a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    Chrysodeixis subsidens

    The species occurs over the south Pacific, and much of Australia, including

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

    Chrysodeixis subsidens
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 48.16, pp. 65, 460.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 15 (1858), p. 1787, pg. 933.


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    (updated 10 August 2011)