Synoecha marmorata (T.P. Lucas, 1892)
(previously known as Sphinx marmorata)
SMERINTHINAE,   SPHINGIDAE,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, from
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art

The early instar Caterpillars of this species are pale green with a yellowish head and a straight black tail spike. Later instars develop a green pointed head, three yellow lines along the back, and black spiracles.

The caterpillars often rest under a leaf of their foodplant lying along the mid-vein. The caterpillars have been found feeding on :

  • Budda (Eremophila mitchellii, MYOPORACEAE).

    The caterpillars grow to a length of about 5.5 cms. The caterpillars dig a tunnel and create a chamber to pupate in underground at a depth of about 10 cms. The pupa is brown and rotund, with a length of about 3 cms.


    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The adult moths have fawn forewings and paler hindwings. The abdomen is black with a series of white spots along each side, and smaller ones along the back. The male moths have a wingspan of about 4 cms. The female moths have a wingspan of about 6 cms.

    The eggs are pale green and oval, with a length of about 1 mm. They are laid singly or in small groups on leaves and stems of a foodplant. The eggs develop dark markings as hatching approaches.

    The species is found inland in

  • Queensland, and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    Thomas P. Lucas,
    On Queensland and other Australian Lepidoptera, with Descriptions of new Species,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 2, Volume 6, Part 2 (1891), pp. 278-279.

    Maxwell S. Moulds, James P. Tuttle and David A. Lane.
    Hawkmoths of Australia,
    Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Series, Volume 13 (2020),
    pp. 233-235, Plates 59, 78, 91.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 206.


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    (updated 25 May 2012, 23 February 2015, 20 April 2020)