Conoeca guildingi Scott, 1864
(sometimes known as Narycia guildingi)
PSYCHIDAE,   TINEOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Conoeca guildingi
early case, magnified
(Photo: courtesy of Steve Pearson, Airlie Beach, Queensland)

The Caterpillars of this species have been found feeding on a variety of plants including:

  • Kunzea ( Kunzea corifolia, MYRTACEAE ),
  • Woolly Teatree ( Leptospermum lanigerum, MYRTACEAE ), and
  • Common Rush ( Juncus effusus, JUNCACEAE ).

    Conoeca guildingi
    drawing by Harriet & Helena Scott, listed as Conoeca guildingi
    ,
    Australian Lepidoptera, Volume 1 (1864), Plate 9.

    The caterpillars each initially live in a conical case covered in bits of chewed bark. As the caterpillar matures, the case becomes long and thin.

    Conoeca guildingi
    late case
    (Photo: courtesy of Alison Milton, Macgregor, Australian Capital Territory)

    The caterpillars have a black head, dark chitinous armour on the thorax, and an off-white abdomen.

    Conoeca guildingi
    the caterpillar partly exposed, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Alison Milton, Macgregor, Australian Capital Territory)

    The head normally is the only part of the body that is protruded from the case, although by holding the case and pulling it back gently, more of the caterpillar can be exposed. The case grows to a length of about 3 cms.

    Conoeca guildingi
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of David Akers, Won Wron, Victoria)

    The adult moths of this species are grey with a variable pattern of dark splotches or speckles. The hindwings are grey with darker margins. The abdomen is yellow but usually covered in dark grey hair.

    Conoeca guildingi
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Ian McMillan, Imbil, Queensland)

    The female has a wingspan of about 4.5 cms The male has a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    Conoeca guildingi
    female
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The species has been found in

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

    Conoeca guildingi
    male
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, p. 179.

    Harriet, Helena, and Alexander W. Scott,
    Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations,
    Australian Lepidoptera,
    Volume 1 (1864), p. 27, Plate 9.


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    (written 31 May 2014, updated 24 July 2019, 4 October 2020, 7 June 2022)