Forked Grass-moth
Larva 3, dorsal, ~22mm
Forked Grass-moth
Larva 3, back pattern
Forked Grass-moth (Ciampa arietaria)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

Thank you Anthony Paul & Prof Victor W Fazio III† for confirming the id of this species for us

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 & females have bipectinate (2 rowed) antennae. The male pectinations are very long, while the female's are very short.
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.

Copyright © 2016-2024 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 07-Aug-2016
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.