Wednesday 25 May 2016

Tonica Species,  Depressariidae

Tonica effractella DEPRESSARIIDAE

Sub Family:-
Genus:-  Tonica
Species:- effractella (probably)

This moth is likely to be Tonica effractella since this is the main one I can find that has been collected anywhere near here.
In Australia they are said to be in Northern Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland to Tamborine Mountain although some species maps show Tonica species collected around Wingham in central New South Wales.
The difference of opinion in the range may be due to there being different species. Many of the samples on the Bold Systems Taxonomy site are simply labled Tonica species with a number.
The larval food plants are mainly Brachychiton species although they have been found on related species like hibiscus and also on cotton, where they can cause crop damage. In the photo showing the leaf, it was found to have pupated on Brachychiton discolor (Lacebark tree). We also have a number of other Brachychiton species on our property and, because we see quite a few of these moths, the larvae are likely to be feeding on some of the other trees as well.

The raised areas on the wings are tufts of scales and those rather spectacular labial palpi also have rather long scales on them.  Overall length is about 20mm.


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