Anthela basigera (Walker, 1865)
Western Toothed Anthelid
(one synonym: Darala undulata Felder & Rogenhofer, 1875)
Don Herbison-Evans,
Stella Crossley

Anthela basigera
(Photo: copyright of Brett and Marie Smith, at Ellura Sanctuary, South Australia)

These Caterpillars are black, with white verrucae, pairs of blue spots along the back, and reddish spots along the sides. The caterpillar is very hairy, with white, black and red hairs. When disturbed, the caterpillars are inclined to curl their head under the thorax, so displaying white bands between the segments behind the head.

Anthela basigera
caterpillar displaying white bands
(Photo: courtesy of Lorraine Jenkins, Port Lincoln Junior Primary School, South Australia)

The caterpillars feed on :

  • various Grasses ( POACEAE).

    Anthela basigera
    (Photo: courtesy of Lorraine Jenkins, Port Lincoln Junior Primary School, South Australia)

    The adult moths of this species are brown with a series of pale wavy bands parallel to the margin on each wing, and two pale spots on each forewing. The moths have a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    Anthela basigera
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    Anthela basigera
    female, drawing by Felder & Rogenhofer, listed as Darala undulata
    Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (5) (1875), Plate XCVIII, fig. 11,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The adults of Anthela basigera are superficially similar to those of Anthela denticulata, Anthela euryphrica, and Anthela oressarcha, but the four species occur in four different areas of the country:

  • Anthela basigera occurs in Victoria, and South Australia.
  • Anthela denticulata occurs mainly in southern Victoria.
  • Anthela euryphrica occurs in mainly central New South Wales.
  • Anthela oressarcha occurs mainly in the mountain areas of southern New South Wales.

    Anthela basigera
    (Photo: courtesy of Neil Macfarlane and Ted Cadwallader, Nyah, Victoria)

    Further reading :

    Rudolf Felder & Alois F. Rogenhofer,
    Zoologischer Theil: Lepidoptera,
    Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (5) (1875), p. 3, and also Plate 98, fig. 11.

    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. 94.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 1,
    Silk Moths and Allies - BOMBYCOIDEA
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 20-21.

    Francis Walker,
    Catalogue of Lepidoptera Heterocera,
    List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
    Part 32 (1865), p. 372.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 23 April 2013, 13 September 2017, 23 August 2022)