Lophothripa vitea (Swinhoe, 1885)
(previously known as Selepa vitea)
SARROTHRIPINAE ,   NOLIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


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

These Caterpillars are green and smooth. They often rest by day on the underside of a leaf of the foodplant. They have been found feeding on the young leaves of plants in a variety of families including

  • Terminalia ( COMBRETACEAE ),
  • Lagerstroemia ( LYTHRACEAE ),
  • Sonneratia ( LYTHRACEAE ), and
  • Heritiera ( STERCULIACEAE ).

    The caterpillar pupates in a cocoon usually on the underside of a leaf. The cocoon has a peak at the head and a double tail of silk.


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

    The adult moth of this species has forewings that are grey-brown, each with variable dark markings including a vaguely double dark band across the middle. The hindwings are white shading to brown at the edges. The wingspan is about 2 cms.


    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The species occurs across south-east Asia, including

  • Borneo, and
  • India,

    ans also in Australia in

  • Western Australia,
  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    drawing byCharles Swinhoe, listed as Selepa vitea
    ,
    On the Lepidoptera of Bombay and the Deccan,
    Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1885, Plate XXVII fig. 17,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Natural History Museum Library, London.


    Further Reading:

    Charles Swinhoe,
    On the Lepidoptera of Bombay and the Deccan,
    Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London,
    1885, p. 460, No. 107, and also Plate 27, fig. 17.


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    (written 21 November 2012, updated 8 October 2013)