Hestiochora tricolor (Walker, 1854)
(previously known as Procris tricolor)
PROCRIDINAE,   ZYGAENIDAE,   ZYGAENOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Peter Cunningham & Stella Crossley

Hestiochora tricolor
male

The Caterpillar of this species feeds on various species of MYRTACEAE including :

  • Turpentine ( Syncarpia glomulifera ), and
  • various Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus ).

    Hestiochora tricolor
    female
    (Photo: by Sarah and Michael Guppy, courtesy of Joan Fearn, Moruya, New South Wales)

    The adult moth is rather wasp-like, having a black body with white bands, and a red collar around its head. The wings are black but lose the scales readily to become partly transparent. The moth has a wingspan of about 2 cms.

    Hestiochora tricolor
    male underside

    The species is found over the southern half of Australia, including

  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria, and
  • Tasmania.

    Hestiochora tricolor
    drawing by Arthur G. Butler, listed as Procris tricolor,
    Illustrations of typical specimens of Lepidoptera Heterocera in the collection of the British Museum,
    Part 1 (1877), Plate VI, fig. 6,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Gerstein Library, University of Toronto.

    The species name actually covers a complex of several unrelated species, which are superficially similar, but which can only be distinguished by microscopic examination of the genitalia.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 7.18, pp. 297-298.

    Gerhard M. Tarmann,
    Zygaenid moths of Australia: a revision of the Australian Zygaenidae,
    CSIRO Publishing, 2004.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 1 (1854), p. 111, No. 13.


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    (updated 28 January 2012, 24 February 2014, 26 November 2015)