Scopula optivata (Walker, 1861)
Varied Wave
(previously known as Acidalia optivata)
STERRHINAE,   GEOMETRIDAE,   GEOMETROIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Scopula optivata
(Photo: courtesy of Steve Williams, Moths of Victoria: Part 3)

These caterpillars are a patchy brown, and are long and thin. They have two pairs of prolegs missing, so walk in a looper fashion. At rest: they stand straight at an angle to the surface that they are on. They probably feed on the leaves of a wide variety of plants.

Scopula optivata
(Photo: courtesy of Steve Williams, Moths of Victoria: Part 3)

The pupa is initially greenish, but becomes brown as it matures.

Scopula optivata
(Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Aranda, Australian Capital Territory)

This adult moth has brown wings with dark zigzag markings, and sometimes with a black dot near the centre of each wing. The wingspan is about 2.5 cms.

Scopula optivata
eggs, magnified
(Photo: courtesy of Steve Williams, Moths of Victoria: Part 3)

The eggs are oval with a ribbed and minutely pitted surface. The eggs are laid in strings. Initially they are white, and acquire pink spots as they develop. They darken as hatching approaches.

Scopula optivata
(Photo: courtesy of Ian Baird, O'Connor, Australian Capital Territory)

The species has been found in:

  • New South Wales,
  • Norfolk Island,
  • Australian Capital Territory,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    Scopula optivata
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Laura Levens, Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria)


    Further reading:

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 3,
    Waves & Carpets - GEOMETROIDEA (C)
    ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2011, pp. 8-9.

    Francis Walker,
    Geometrites,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 23 (1861), p. 780, No. 247.


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    (updated 18 April 2011, 8 October 2013, 1 January 2015, 18 December 2017, 7 June 2018)