Dichocrocis clytusalis (Walker, 1859)
Kurrajong Bag Moth
(previously known as Astura clytusalis)
SPILOMELINAE,   CRAMBIDAE,   PYRALOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Dichocrocis clytusalis
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Meadowbank, New South Wales)

These Caterpillars are green with a sparse hairs and some brown markings. They live communally in a bag formed by rolling up leaves of the food tree and joining them with silk.

Dichocrocis clytusalis
A Bag of rolled leaves
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Meadowbank, New South Wales)

They hide in the bag by day, emerging to feed at night. The caterpillars are very fussy feeders, eating only the soft green parts of a leaf, leaving a skeleton of veins.

Dichocrocis clytusalis
Leaf skeletonised by the Caterpillars
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Meadowbank, New South Wales)

They feed on :

  • Bottle Tree ( Brachychiton rupestre ), STERCULIACEAE ),
  • Flame tree ( Brachychiton acerifolium, STERCULIACEAE ), and
  • Kurrajong ( Brachychiton populneus, STERCULIACEAE ).

    The caterpillars grow to a length of about 2 cms.

    Dichocrocis clytusalis
    (Photo: courtesy of Bruce Anstee, Riverstone, New South Wales)

    The adult moth is bright yellow, with black zig-zag lines across the wings, and a prominent black spot near the middle of each fore wing. The moth has a wingspan of about 2 cms.

    Dichocrocis clytusalis
    (Specimen: courtesy of The Australian Museum)

    The species is found mainly inland in the eastern half of Australia, including

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory, and
  • Victoria.

    Dichocrocis clytusalis
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 34.7, p. 356.

    Peter Hendry,
    The Night of the Crambidae,
    Butterfly and Other Invertebrates Club,
    Newslettter, Issue 49 (June 2008), pp. 26-29.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 36.

    Francis Walker,
    Pyralides,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 18 (1859), p. 550, No. 6.


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    (updated 27 January 2013)