Tetrachroa edwardsi (Olliff, 1890)
(one synonym : Meganoton variegatum Rothschild, 1894)
SMERINTHINAE,   SPHINGIDAE,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Tom and David Sleep, Brisbane, Queensland)

The early instars of these Caterpillars are green with a straightish tail spike that varies from green to black. Later instars have diagonal lines on the side of each segment, small pale tubercles all over, and strong brown tapering tail spike that curves slightly back.

The caterpillars feed on plants in APOCYNACEAE, including:

  • Common Silkpod (Parsonia straminea), and
  • Scrambling Silkpod (Parsonia plaesiophylla).

    The caterpillars grow to a length of about 9 cms. To pupate: they burrow into the soil at least 12 cms. They create a smooth-walled chamber. The pupa is brown with a length up to 5 cms.

    The adult moths have dark grey with white markings, and have a large red area on the hindwings The moths have a wingspan up to 12 cms.


    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The eggs are oval and initially pale green, and develop a purple spot near hatching. The eggs have a length of about 2 mms. They are laid singly on the undersides of foodplant leaves.

    The species occurs over

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, p. 412.

    Maxwell S. Moulds, James P. Tuttle and David A. Lane.
    Hawkmoths of Australia,
    Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Series, Volume 13 (2020),
    pp. 235-238, Plates 60, 73, 91.

    Arthur Sidney Olliff,
    Stray notes on Lepidoptera. No. 1,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 2, Volume 5, Part 3 (1890), p. 515.


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    (updated 2 December 2009, 21 April 2020)