Leucomonia bethia (Kirby, 1877)
(one synonym is Meganoton distinctum Rothschild, 1894)
MACROGLOSSINAE ,   SPHINGIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


drawing by Rothschild, listed as Meganoton distinctum,

Notes on Sphingidae, with descriptions of new species,
Novitates Zoologicae, Volume 1, Number 1 (1894), Plate VII, fig. 19,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library,
digitized by Natural History Museum Library, London.

Early instars of this Caterpillar are green with a forward-curving dark brown tail-horn. Later instars caterpillars develop diagonal white stripes on the side of each segment and the horn curves backward. There is a brown form of later instars for which the diagonal stripes are less conspicuous. The caterpillars usually rest by day on the undersides of the leaves of foodplants. They have been found feeding on :

  • Lolly Bush ( Clerodendrum floribundum, LAMIACEAE ).

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 7 cms.

    The pupa is brown with a curved extension for the haustellum of the developing moth.

    The adult moths of this species have grey forewings, each with some dark angular lines and a dark dot near the middle. The hindwings are dark brown. The wingspan is about 11 cms.

    The eggs are spherical and green, and laid singly on the leaf of a foodplant.

    The species is found inland in

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


    Further reading :

    William Forsell Kirby,
    Notes on the new or rare Sphingidae in the Museum of the Royal Dublin Society,
    Transactions of the Entomological Society of London,
    1877, Part 3, pp. 238, 243.

    David A. Lane,
    Life history notes on 'Leucomonia bethia' (Kirby) (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae),
    Australian Entomologist,
    Vol. 33, Part 1 (March 2006), pp. 31-34.

    Lionel Walter Rothschild,
    Notes on Sphingidae, with descriptions of new species,
    Novitates Zoologicae,
    Volume 1, Number 1 (1894), p. 89,, and also Plate 7, fig. 19.


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    (written 13 September 2006, updated 2 March 2015)