Hyalarcta species
PSYCHIDAE,   TINEOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Robin Faulkner, Forrestfield, Western Australia)

These Caterpillars have only been found feeding on Hakea species ( PROTEACEAE ) such as

  • Emu Bush ( Hakea laurina ), and
  • Narrow-fruited Hakea ( Hakea stenocarpa ).


    (Photo: courtesy of Robin Faulkner, Forrestfield, Western Australia)

    When the caterpillars feed, they are inclined to eat only the top surface layer of a leaf.


    (Photo: courtesy of Robin Faulkner, Forrestfield, Western Australia)

    The caterpillar lives in a conical case which it covers completely with hairs taken from the undersides of the mature leaves of its food plant. Longer and longer hairs are attached as the cone increases in size. Also a few larger curled pieces of leaf are attached. The case grows to a length of up to 5 cms.


    the caterpillar extracted from its case
    (Photos: courtesy of Robin Faulkner, Forrestfield, Western Australia)

    The caterpillar has a chitinous off-white head and thorax, with brown markings, and a soft brown abdomen.


    the caterpillar extracted from its case
    (Photos: courtesy of Robin Faulkner, Forrestfield, Western Australia)

    The caterpillar pupates in its case, in voluminous silk padding.


    case partly cut open showing pupa and silk padding
    (Photo: courtesy of Robin Faulkner, Forrestfield, Western Australia)

    The pupa is dark brown with an orange head and thorax. The pupa is extruded from the case before the adult male moth emerges from the pupa.


    naked pupa
    (Photo: courtesy of Robin Faulkner, Forrestfield, Western Australia)

    The adult male has a black hairy body and transparent wings, with a wingspan of about 3 cms.


    male adult moth
    (Photo: courtesy of Robin Faulkner, Forrestfield, Western Australia)

    The vein pattern of the wings of the male moth is very similar to that of Hyalarcta huebneri, but the markings on the head and thorax of the caterpillar are quite different.

    The species has been found in Western Australia.

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    (written 14 January 2016, updated 8 September 2017)