Uzucha borealis Turner, 1898
XYLORYCTIDAE,   GELECHIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Julatten, Queensland)

The Caterpillar of this species feeds on the bark of Gum Trees ( MYRTACEAE ), including :

  • Black Butt ( Corymbia tessellaris ),
  • Poplar Gum ( Eucalyptus platyphylla ).
  • Forest Red Gum ( Eucalyptus tereticornis ).


    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Julatten, Queensland)

    making a supeficial gallery on the tree trunk, which it covers with brown silk and frass.


    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Julatten, Queensland)

    The caterpillar pupates in its gallery


    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Julatten, Queensland)

    The adult moth has grey-brown forewings, each with a dark spot at the base of the costa, and/or other variable markings, sometimes with a dark spot near the middle. The hindwings are black fading to off-white at the margins.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The body has alternate bands of black and orange. The moths have a wing span of about 5 cms.


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The species is found in

  • Northern Territory,and
  • Queensland.


    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Julatten, Queensland)

    Note that Turner's type specimen is from Charters Towers, so that specimens from areas south of the Tropics may be misidentified, and actually be Uzucha humeralis, as both species show variable colouration. But Walker and Turner distingished their species by colour, so that Uzucha borealis should also be the paler species.


    Further reading :

    Ian McMillan,
    Uzucha,
    Xyloryctine Moths of Australia,
    Blog, Thursday, July 1, 2010.

    A. Jefferis Turner,
    Studies in Australian Lepidoptera,
    Annals of the Queensland Museum,
    Volume 4 (1898), p. 28, No. 86.


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    (written 23 March 2019, updated 4 May 2019)