Ategumia adipalis (Lederer, 1863)
(one synonym : Botys notatalis Walker, 1866)
SPILOMELINAE,   CRAMBIDAE,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Bart Hacobian & Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

These Caterpillars have been reported to feed on species in MELASTOMATACEAE, including

  • Indian Rhododendron ( Melastoma candidum ), and
  • Straits Rhododendron ( Melastoma malabathricum ).

    The caterpillars hide in a shelter they create by rolling a leaf of their foodplant and joining it with silk.

    The adult moth of this species is pale yellow with broad brown margins to the wings. The forewings also have a broad castellated brown band along the costa. Each hindwing has a brown spot near the centre. The wingspan is about 2 cms.


    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)<

    This species is distributed across south-east Asia, including

  • China,
  • India,
  • Japan,

    and is found in Australia in

  • Queensland.

    It was introduced deliberately into Hawaii to control the weed Melastoma malabathricum.

    No systematic work has yet been carried out on this species. It could well prove to be a species-complex across its range. There is considerable variation over its range, which strongly suggests that it will be split up into several species. The Australian specimens could well be one, and so form an as yet undescribed species.

    This species was described from a specimen caught in Amboina in the Moluccas group. The British Museum has one Australian example of this species from Port Darwin. The Macleay Museum specimen from Cairns is seemingly whiter in appearance than the Darwin specimen in the British Museum, so there may even be more than one species in Australia.


    Further reading :

    Julius Lederer,
    Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Pyralidinen,
    Wiener Entomologische Monatschrift,
    Volume 7, Part 11 (1863), p. 475, No. 80.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 32.


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    (written 13 June 2005, updated 23 May 2013)