Alice Springs Fauna •

Alice Springs MothsAedia leucomelas (Sweet Potato Leaf Worm) Australian Striped Hawk Moth (Hyles livornicoides) Bag-shelter Moth & Processionary Caterpillar Carpenter Moth (Endoxyla cinereus) Chasmina pulchra (White Beauty) Convolvulus Hawk-moth (Agrius convolvuli) Cossid Moth (Endoxyla leucomochla) Endoxyla Moth (family Cossidae) Laced Day-Moth (Ipanica cornigera) Godart’s Hawkmoth (Agrius godarti) Helicoverpa punctigera (Australian Fruitworm) Leptocneria binotata Mocis alterna (Bean Looper Moth) Owlet Moth (Eudesmeola lawsoni) Owlet Moth (Ophiusa parcemacula) Sameodes cancellalis (Banded Pearl) Yeperenye / Yipirinya

Chasmina pulchra, sometimes known as White Beauty, and previously classified as Acontia pulchra, is a noctuid moth, whose caterpillar feed on the Kurrajongs (Brachychiton populneus).

The Chasmina pulchra pictured here was inside a home in Alice Springs and landed on a kiwi fruit. Outside in the garden and surrounding neighbours, there are Kurrajong trees.

Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT
Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT

Chasmina pulchra (Doubleday, Citation1845) was first described from a specimen taken between 1837 and 1839, on the Kimberley coast in the north of Western Australia and donated to the British Museum by the explorer Captain George Grey (Doubleday, Citation1845). It was later redescribed by Francis Walker based upon the same specimen (Walker, Citation1858) and hence Acontia pulchra Walker, Citation1858 is treated here as a junior objective synonym. A relatively uncommon moth, it is native to tropical and subtropical Australia and was previously unrecorded from temperate latitudes in the literature. Curiously, C. pulchra is mentioned (as Acontia pulchra) by J.G. Otto Tepper in his popular guide to local insects (Tepper, Citation1890, p. 38), but there is no indication he had seen or collected specimens from South Australia, and none are present in the Tepper collection at the South Australian Museum. Significantly, it was not mentioned by Oswald Lower in his checklist of the Lepidoptera of Broken Hill, despite him having regularly collected moths in the mining town since the 1890s (Lower, Citation1915).

Source: Taylor & Francis Online – Peter B. McQuillan, Lionel Hill & Gary R. Purdy (2023)2
Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT
Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT
Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT
Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT
Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT
Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT
Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT
Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Unranked: Ditrysia
  • Superfamily: Noctuoidea
  • Family: Noctuidae
  • Subfamily: Acronictinae
  • Genus: Chasmina
  • Species: Chasmina pulchra
Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT
Chasmina pulchra, Alice Springs NT

Footnote & References

  1. Many thanks to Donna Juanita for ID, member of Amateur Entomology Australia, Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/476897096018877/
  2. Chasmina pulchra (Walker, 1858), Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/d715d263-18ee-4ed0-8e6b-f36462e96fca#classification
  3. Peter B. McQuillan, Lionel Hill & Gary R. Purdy (2023) The beautiful noctuid moth Chasmina pulchra (Doubleday) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a highly dispersive species, now established on urban kurrajongs Brachychiton populneus in southern Australia, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, DOI: 10.1080/03721426.2023.2250552
  4. Chasmina pulchra (Walker, 1858), White Beauty, Australian Caterpillars and their Butterflies and Moths, http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/acro/pulchra.html

Alice Springs MothsAedia leucomelas (Sweet Potato Leaf Worm) Australian Striped Hawk Moth (Hyles livornicoides) Bag-shelter Moth & Processionary Caterpillar Carpenter Moth (Endoxyla cinereus) Chasmina pulchra (White Beauty) Convolvulus Hawk-moth (Agrius convolvuli) Cossid Moth (Endoxyla leucomochla) Endoxyla Moth (family Cossidae) Laced Day-Moth (Ipanica cornigera) Godart’s Hawkmoth (Agrius godarti) Helicoverpa punctigera (Australian Fruitworm) Leptocneria binotata Mocis alterna (Bean Looper Moth) Owlet Moth (Eudesmeola lawsoni) Owlet Moth (Ophiusa parcemacula) Sameodes cancellalis (Banded Pearl) Yeperenye / Yipirinya

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