Larva 3, dorsal, ~22mm
Larva 3, back pattern
|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Order:||Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)|
|Family:||Geometer (:Geometridae Ennominae Nacophorini) iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Forked Grass-moth (Ciampa arietaria)|
|This Photo:||Larva 3, posterior|
|Other names:||Brown Pasture Looper or Forked Pasture-moth|
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
A common moth which has some unique characteristics.
The larva curl up at the base of plants looking like new, unfurled leaves.
The adults have a forked horn projection out the front of it's head. It's hairless and not part of the palps; a separate structure.
Males have bipectinate (2 rowed) antennae, where as females have an unusual antennae structure. While it looks filiform, closer inspection reveals a form of short bipectination. We can't work out if they are flat scales or fine hair. Either way, they clearly differ from the males.
We have photographed 17 specimens. 4 Larvae in July & Aug, 5 males in Apr & May and 7 females in Apr (one indeterminate gender in May). This indicates they "hibernate" as eggs over winter, spring & summer, hatching in early autumn and finishing their life cycle before winter sets in.