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MothUnidentified Moth (TBC)

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Unidentified at Suppressed - 24 Mar 2019

Identification history

Unidentified 2 Apr 2019 HarveyPerkins

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7 comments

   6 Apr 2019
I suggest these are larvae of Calyptra minuticornis (Erebidae-Calpinae-Calpini). They are feeding on snake vine (Stephania japonica) a known host plant, which grows commonly across the island.
   6 Apr 2019
Hi Harvey, We had some of these feeding on Stephania in our yard too. Managed to get one to pupate indoors, but it has been some weeks and no sign of emergence yet. I did manage to find one illustration of the larva on line and it looked the same as yours, but there's a description at https://www.revolvy.com/page/Calyptra-minuticornis which doesn't sound the same at all, so that's unhelpful.
   6 Apr 2019
Hi Jackie - I didn't find any description of the larvae at the link you provided, The description of the adult was very detailed in a technical sense but gave absolutely no indication of its odd appearance and mimicry. When I first saw the moth, up under the eaves, I really did think it was a bit of dead leaf caught in a spider web!
   6 Apr 2019
Here's what that link said re larvae: Larva olive-grey with a sub-dorsal series of black-bordered yellow spots. A sub-lateral series of specks enclosed from fourth somite by a pinkish bordered black line. Head ochreous, with paired lateral black spots. Legs pale pink. Doesn't sound like our guys at all. I've yet to see an adult, though given how cryptic they are the place could be crawling with them. I'll know what to keep an eye out for now. Interestingly the 2 larvae I saw after we brought one indoors looked to be heading upwards on a low rock wall and the shed wall in search of a pupation site, not down into the litter as stated on line.
   6 Apr 2019
Hmmm.
Looks like there could be quite a bit of variation across sub-species around the world and also with instar stage and development. This pdf looks interesting: http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiDsPHe-LrhAhVCX30KHbRTAQIQjhx6BAgBEAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.boic.org.au%2Ffiles%2FFruit-piercing%2520Moths.pdf&psig=AOvVaw1TUJ5gKGmJAWs40BBfk09P&ust=1554621895362650
   8 Apr 2019
Thanks for the reference Harvey; good that it was Australian. Our larva pupated while still black, not going grey along the sides as they recorded for late instar larvae. However, as it did it attached to the side of the water vessel for its sprig of Stephania, not in litter (we hadn't provided any) and still hasn't emerged we are wondering if we somehow forced it to go early and it actually won't emerge. We're novices at this caper, and this was our first attempt.
   11 May 2020
Did your pupa emerge Jackie?

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