Hypargyria metalliferella Ragonot, 1888
Silvered Knothorn
PHYCITINAE,   PYRALIDAE,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Hypargyria metalliferella
(Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Blackheath, New South Wales)

The Caterpillars of this species live in a loose silken shelter, and have been found feeding on the foliage of plants from a number of families, including :

  • Scrub Guava ( Siphonodon australis, CELASTRACEAE ), and
  • Olives ( Olea europaea, OLEACEAE ).

    Hypargyria metalliferella
    (Photo: courtesy of Aila Keto, Springbrook, Queensland)

    The adult moth has patchy brown forewings each crossed by a pale band edged by a narrow dark band. The hindwings are translucent white with brown veins. The undersides of the wings of the males have silvery metallic sheen. The head and thorax are brown. The wingspan is about 2 cms.

    Hypargyria metalliferella
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    In its resting position, the moth wraps its wings around the body giving it a cylindrical outline, as do many of the PHYCITINAE, but the moths of this species erect the scales of the forewing pale band, and erect the scales of the narrow dark line in that band even higher, giving the moths the appearance of knobbly twigs.

    Hypargyria metalliferella
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The species has been found across Africa and Asia, including

  • China,
  • Ethiopia, and
  • Nigeria,

    as well as in Australia in

  • Western Australia,
  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.

    Hypargyria metalliferella
    drawing by E.L. Ragonot, listed as Hypargyria metalliferella
    ,
    Monographie des Phycitinae et des Galleriinae,
    in Nicholas Mikhailovitch Romanoff: Mémoires sur les Lépidoptères,
    Volume 7 (1893), Plate IV, fig. 22,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 32.9, 32.10, p. 349.

    Émile Louis Ragonot,
    1888 Nouveaux genres et espèces de Phycitidae et Galleriidae,
    Paris, 1888, p. 9, No. 17..

    Émile Louis Ragonot,
    Monographie des Phycitinae et des Galleriinae,
    in Nicholas Mikhailovitch Romanoff: Mémoires sur les Lépidoptères,
    Paris & Saint Petersberg : Imprimerie Générale Lahiire,
    Volume 7 (1893), pp. 123-124, No. 144, and also Plate 4, fig. 22.


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    (written 28 October 2019)