Syntherata leonae Lane, 2003
SATURNIIDAE,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


Photo: courtesy of David A. Lane, (Ted) E.D. Edwards, & Stefan Naumann, from
A revision of the genus Syntherata Maasen, 1873 (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) within Australia, with the description of three new species, and descriptions of their life histories,
The European Entomologist, Volume 3, Part 1 (2010), pp. 21-27

The young caterpillars of this species are yellow with a dark line along the back, and a black line along each side, have a black head, and are covered in stiff hairs.


Photo: courtesy of David A. Lane, (Ted) E.D. Edwards, & Stefan Naumann, from
A revision of the genus Syntherata Maasen, 1873 (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) within Australia, with the description of three new species, and descriptions of their life histories,
The European Entomologist, Volume 3, Part 1 (2010), pp. 21-27

Later the caterpillars become olive green with a yellow line along each side, and have pink-tipped tubercles each of which has a cluster of short stiff hairs.

The caterpillars have been found feeding on the leaves of various trees including: from :

  • Spurred Mangrove ( Ceriops tagal ), and
  • Spotted Mangrove ( Rhizophora stylosa ).


    pupa, taken out of its cocoon
    Photo: courtesy of David A. Lane, (Ted) E.D. Edwards, & Stefan Naumann, from
    A revision of the genus Syntherata Maasen, 1873 (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) within Australia, with the description of three new species, and descriptions of their life histories,
    The European Entomologist, Volume 3, Part 1 (2010), pp. 21-27

    The caterpillar pupates in an oval cocoon on the food plant or nearby vegetation.


    Photo: courtesy of David A. Lane, (Ted) E.D. Edwards, & Stefan Naumann, from
    A revision of the genus Syntherata Maasen, 1873 (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) within Australia, with the description of three new species, and descriptions of their life histories,
    The European Entomologist, Volume 3, Part 1 (2010), pp. 21-27

    There is a considerable variation in the coloration of adults of this species. The basic adult moth is yellow with two or more zig-zag brown or pink lines across each wing. The forewings each have a round transparent spot in the middle, and the hindwings each have a dark spot in the middle. There is also wine-red variety. The male has recurved wingtips to the forewings, whereas the females have rounded forewing tips. The moth typically has a wingspan of 10 cms.

    The species occurs on

  • the Atherton Tableland, Queensland.


    eggs, highly magnified
    Photo: courtesy of David A. Lane, (Ted) E.D. Edwards, & Stefan Naumann, from
    A revision of the genus Syntherata Maasen, 1873 (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) within Australia, with the description of three new species, and descriptions of their life histories,
    The European Entomologist, Volume 3, Part 1 (2010), pp. 21-27

    The eggs are laid in short rows, and are pale green and ovate, and have a diameter of about 1.5 mm.

    The species is heavily parasitised by wasps and flies.


    Further reading:

    David Lane,
    A new species of Syntherata Maasen (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) from northern Australia,
    Butterfly & Other Invertebrates Club Inc. Newsletter,
    Number 31 (2003), pp. 6-12.

    David A. Lane, (Ted) E.D. Edwards, & Stefan Naumann,
    A revision of the genus Syntherata Maasen, 1873 (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) within Australia, with the description of three new species, and descriptions of their life histories,
    The European Entomologist,
    Volume 3, Part 1 (2010), pp. 21-27, figs. 6, 19, 54-69.


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    (updated 1 July 2007, 4 December 2017)