Coenotes eremophilae (T.P.Lucas, 1891)
(one synonym : Protoparce minimus Miskin, 1891)
SMERINTHINAE ,   SPHINGIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Coenotes eremophilae
(Photo: courtesy of John Collins, Kimberley, Western Australia)

The Caterpillars of this species are basically black with white speckles, sometimes with so many white speckles they look grey, and sometimes with so few speckles so they look black. The caterpillars have a white stripe along each side, a row of red, orange or yellow spiracles along each side, and sometimes a yellow stripe along the back. On the tail, they have an entirely black curved horn. The head and prothorax have black and white bands.

Coenotes eremophilae
(Photo: courtesy of Jacqueline de Vaan, Kata Tjuta, Northern Territory)

The caterpillars feed for preference on plants from the familiy MYOPORACEAE such as :

  • Bowman's Fuchsia Bush ( Eremophila bowmanii ),
  • Rock Fuchsia Bush ( Eremophila freelingii ),
  • Warty Fuchsia Bush, ( Eremophila latrobei ),
  • Weeping Emu Bush, ( Eremophila longifolia ),
  • Turpentine Bush ( Eremophila sturtii ),
  • Budda ( Eremophila mitchellii ),
  • Ellangowan ( Myoporum deserti ), and
  • Boobialla ( Myoporum montanum ),

    but also have been found on a variety of other plants, including :

  • Currant Bush ( Carissa spinarum, APOCYNACEAE ),
  • Helicopter Tree ( Gyrocarpus americanus, HERNANDIACEAE ),
  • Mint Bush ( Prostanthera striatiflora, LAMIACEAE ),
  • Yellow Hibiscus ( Hibiscus panduriformis, MALVACEAE ),
  • Mimosa Bush ( Acacia farnesitana, MIMOSACEAE ),
  • Sesame ( Sesamum indicum, PEDALIACEAE ),
  • Sweet Quandong ( Santalum acuminatum, SANTALACEAE ),
  • Corkwood ( Duboisia myoporoides , SOLANACEAE ), and
  • Lolly Bush ( Clerodendrum floribundum, VERBENACEAE ).

    Coenotes eremophilae
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The adult moths of this species have very boring fawn wings, and a pattern of diagonal and transverse dark marks on the abdomen. They have a wingspan of about 5 cms.

    The species is found over the inland northern half of Australia, including:

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


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 40.7, p. 411.


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    (updated 2 December 2009, 1 November 2013, 23 December 2014)