Scioglyptis lyciaria (Guenée, 1857)
(one synonym : Boarmia semitata Walker, 1860)
White-patch Bark Moth
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Scioglyptis lyciaria
(Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)

The background colour of this Caterpillar is beige with a pink tinge. Dark brown dots give the surface a mottled appearance. The spiracles are tiny, yellow, and each is surrounded by a black ring. The head and the second abdominal segment each bear a pair of short blunt horns.

Scioglyptis lyciaria
head, close-up
(Photo: courtesy of David Akers, Won Wron, Victoria)

Each abdominal horn has a small red retraclable knob in its centre. Individual caterpillars vary in their overall darkness. They have a typical resting posture of standing stick-like on a stem.

Scioglyptis lyciaria
(Photo: courtesy of David Akers, Won Wron, Victoria)

Our caterpillars chose to feed on:

  • Exocarpus ( SANTALACEAE ),

    but they have been reported as also feeding on:

  • Gorse Bitter-Pea ( Daviesia uliciflia, FABACEAE ),
  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE ),
  • Geebung ( Persoonia, PROTEACEAE ), and
  • Black Wattle ( Acacia mearnsii, MIMOSACEAE ).

    The caterpillars feed for two to three months, and grow to a length of about 5 cms. The caterpillar pupates in a soil cell.

    Scioglyptis lyciaria
    (Photo: courtesy of David Akers, Won Wron, Victoria)

    The pupa is initially green with a brown abdomen. Later it becomes wholly brown. The adult moth emerged after about two months.

    Scioglyptis lyciaria
    (Photo: courtesy of Marilyn Hewish, Moths of Victoria: Part 7)

    The adult moth is is patchy, and varies from pale brown to dark grey, with wavy transverse dark lines extending across both wings. The margins of each fore and hind wing have wavy edges with a black bordering line. There is a pale patch near the middle of the margin of each forewing.

    Scioglyptis lyciaria
    (Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: Part 7)

    The undersurface of the wings is fawn, with a broken dark brown terminal border, and a dark brown spot near the middle of each wing. The moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    Scioglyptis lyciaria
    eggs, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Cathy Byrne)

    Our specimens were reared from eggs laid in April. The eggs are laid side by side and overlapping in a crevice of bark. Eggs laid by different females differed in colour. They are oval, and have a microscopic pattern of crenulated ribs. When newly laid they are cream, yellow, or green. As the eggs aged, they turned orange, brown, or red. The eggs hatched about twelve hours after they were sprinkled with water.

    Scioglyptis lyciaria
    male, underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Eileen Collins, Chiltern, Victoria)

    The underside of the wings of the female is pale brown, and of the male is yellowish, both with two broad squarish black marks on the margin, and a round black spot near the middle of each wing.

    The species is found in

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory,
  • Victoria, and
  • Tasmania.

    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 36.1, p. 367.

    Achille Guenée,
    in Boisduval & Guenée: Uranides et Phalénites,
    Histoire naturelle des insectes; spécies général des lépidoptères,
    Volume 9 (1857), p. 250, No. 381.

    Marilyn Hewish,
    Moths of Victoria: Part 7,
    Bark Moths and Allies - GEOMETROIDEA (D)
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2016, pp. 28-29.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 19 March 2012, 16 May 2023)