Theretra turneri (T.P. Lucas, 1891)
(one synonym : Panacra mira Swinhoe, 1892)
MACROGLOSSINAE,   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

This Caterpillar is initially green with a yellow spot each side of each segment, and a black tail spike. Middle instars become black with white spots in between the yellow ones. Final instars are usually black, and can have yellow or red spots.

The caterpillar has been found feeding on

  • Air Potato ( Dioscoria bulbifera, DIOSCOREACEAE ), and
  • Bush Grape ( Cayratia trifolia, VITACEAE ).

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 7 cms. It excavates a small depression in the soil and pupates in a cocoon under a dead leaf pulled over the top. The pupa is brown with a narrow head and thorax. Th pupa has a length of about 4 cms.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Emma Gorge, Western Australia)

    The adult moths of this species have pale brown forewings with a number of dark brown markings. The hindwings are plain brown, sometimes pinkish. The head is dark brown. thorax is dark brown with a pale dorsal stripe and two jagged white lateral stripes. The colours on the hairs on the thorax are said to resemble the fur of a tabby cat. The forewings have slightly recurved wingtips, and concave hind-margins. The hindwings each have have a sinuous margin and a pointed tornus. The wingspan is 5-6 cms.


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Emma Gorge, Western Australia)

    The eggs are off-white and oval, with a length of about 1.6 mm. They are laid singly under leaves of a foodplant.

    The species occurs in

  • Western Australia, and
  • Queensland.


    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Paul Kay, Emma Gorge, Western Australia)


    Further reading :

    Thomas P. Lucas,
    Butterflies and Moths,
    Descriptions of two new Butterflies and nine new Sphingidae or Hawk moths found in Queensland,
    The Queenslander (Newspaper),
    Saturday 9 May 1891, p. 894.

    Max S. Moulds, James P. Tuttle and David A. Lane.
    Hawkmoths of Australia,
    Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Series, Volume 13 (2020),
    pp. 269-271, Plates 71, 81, 92.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 205.


    previous
    back
    caterpillar
    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    Lepidoptera
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths
    next
    next
    caterpillar

    (updated 11 October 2008, 15 February 2020)