Black Spotted Owlet Moth
Grass Day Moth
Larva1, Head & Prothorax
|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta) iNaturalist Observation|
|Order:||Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)|
|Family:||Owlet moth (:Noctuoidea Noctuidae Agaristinae)|
|Species:||Grass Day Moth (Apina callisto)|
|Other name:||Pasture Day Moth|
Thank you Don Herbison-Evans for helping with the id of this species for us
EXTRA - Photo Specific Information:
On this specimen you can see the 2 yellow spots at the rear (right hand side) SARDI refers to, for this species.
But it's missing the stripes you might expect to see (based on other web photos)
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
We Id'ed this species from the first photo of a Larva some time ago. Unfortunately we don't keep records of this (still learning). But then we recently found the adult and was double checking on Don Herbison-Evan's site when we realised our larva looks different to the photo's on his site.
We almost pulled the photos from our site, but thought we'd ask the man himself.
Don is incredibly helpful and has a reputation of being a nice bloke. So he happily responded back with
"Yes those look like the 3 prothorax stripes of an Apino callisto caterpillar. Of course the real test is to rear it to the adult moth and compare that with the holotype. Individual caterpillars do vary in colour, depending on instar, food, microclimate, genetics, etc (like humans do)."
There's a big lesson here. We can't rely on Larva for a confident id. So in future we will always put a "?" against a species based on larva alone. Also, to re-iterate, identification from photos alone is fraught with difficulty & errors
Notice the strange horn extrusion on it's face.
While larvae vary greatly in size, these are ~45-50mm long. The female is ~25mm long & ~55mm wingspan