Hypsopygia mauritialis (Boisduval, 1833)
(previously : Asopia mauritialis)
PYRALINAE ,   PYRALIDAE ,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


drawing by Harold Maxwell-Lefroy
,
Indian Insect Life: a Manual of the Insects of the Plains, 1909, Plate LII, Fig. 5,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by NCSU Libraries.

This caterpillar has been found feeding on the food and larvae in the nests of various wasps in the family VESPIDAE, including

  • Lesser Banded Hornet ( Vespa affinis ),
  • Greater Banded Hornet ( Vespa tropica ), and
  • Paper Wasp ( Polistes rothneyi ).


    drawing by Harold Maxwell-Lefroy
    ,
    Indian Insect Life: a Manual of the Insects of the Plains, 1909, Plate LII, Fig. 6,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by NCSU Libraries.

    The adult moth is dark brown. The wings each have a yellow margin, and there is also two sometimes vague yellow lines across each wing. The wingspan is about 2 cms. Its natural posture has the wings open but pushed downward, and the abdomen curled up.

    Hypsopygia mauritialis
    drawing by Boisduval, listed as Asopia mauritialis
    ,
    Faune Entomologique de Madagascar, Bourbon et Maurice. LÚpidoptÚres,
    Paris : Jules Didot L'aine (1833), Plate 16, fig 8,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The species has been found in Africa and Asia, including

  • China,
  • Hong Kong,
  • India,
  • Japan,
  • Taiwan,

    and in Australia in

  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.

    Hypsopygia mauritialis
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)


    Further reading:

    Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Dechauffour de Boisduval,
    Faune Entomologique de Madagascar, Bourbon et Maurice. LÚpidoptÚres,
    Paris : Jules Didot L'aine (1833), p. 119.

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 31.20, p. 349.

    Stephen John Martin,
    Occurrence of the Pyralid Moth Hypsopygia mauritialis (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae) in the nests of Vespa affinis (Hymenoptera: Vespidae),
    Japanese Journal of Entomology,
    Volume 60 (1992), pp. 267-270.


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    (created 25 October 2012, updated 20 March 2017)