Golden Leaf Moth
(previously known as Palparia aurata)
WINGIA GROUP, OECOPHORINAE, OECOPHORIDAE, GELECHIOIDEA
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Concord, New South Wales)
This Caterpillar could be taken for a snail. It lives in a tough spiral cocoon embodying leaves of its food plant. The caterpillar has a brown head and a stout creamy body. It feeds on:
It pupates in its shelter, having grown to a length of about 2 cms.
The adult moth is orange with a dark line across and a dark patch in the middle of each forewing. The hindwings are orange, fading to white at the bases.
The forewings are unusual as they taper to a point, and then recurve back. The moth's natural posture is unique, as the twisted wingtips diverge, and look like a fishtail, disguising from predators its otherwise natural form from looking like a moth. The moth has a wing span of about 2 cms.
The species has been found in:
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pls. 4.10, 23.13, p. 223.
Ian F.B. Common,
Oecophorine Genera of Australia I: The Wingia Group (Lepidoptera: Oecophoridae),
Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Volume 3,
CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne 1994, pp. 13, 242, 244, 245.
Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), p. 51.
Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
Part 29, British Museum, 1864, p. 774.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths,
CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 60.
(updated 18 September 2011, 16 September 2013, 10 January 2015, 18 July 2020)