Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Xylorycta homoleuca

Xylorycta homoleuca Lower, 1894.


Xylorycta homoleuca Lower, 1894. New Australian Heterocera. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia  18: 77–113 [91]. Holotype SAMA ♂, Coomooboolaroo, Duaringa, Qld.
Xylorycta homoleuca Lower. Turner, 1898. The Xyloryctidae of Queensland. Annals of the Queensland Museum 4: 1–32 [14].
Xylorycta homoleuca Lower. Goudie, 1902, Notes on the Larvae and Pupae of Birchip Heterocera, Victorian Naturalist, 29: 6, 67-90 [79-80].
Xylorycta homoleuca Low. Lower, 1917, The Lepidoptera of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Part III, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 41, 369-377 [370].
Xylorycta homoleuca Lower, 1894. Common, in Nielsen, Edwards, & Rangsi, 1996, Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia. Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera, 4: i-xiv, 1-529 & CD-ROM [89].
Xylorycta homoleuca Goudie, 1902. [sic] Beccaloni, G. W., Scoble, M. J., Robinson, G. S. & Pitkin, B. (Editors). 2003. The Global Lepidoptera Names Index (LepIndex). World Wide Web electronic publication. [accessed 5 May 2010].
Xylorycta homoleuca Lower, 1894. Edwards, E. D. (2003), Xyloryctinae. Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. [accessed 19 June 2010].
Original description, Lower 1894
Xylorycta homoleuca, n. sp.
Male, 31 mm. Head, palpi, antennae, thorax, and abdomen white; very faintly tinged with ochreous, abdominal segments edged with dull-reddish, hardly perceptible. Legs light-fuscous. Forewings moderate, elongate; costa gently arched, apex obtuse, hindmargin obliquely rounded; shining white, faintly ochreous-tinged, without markings; cilia shining snow-white. Hindwings pale-grey; cilia as in forewings. Between orectis, Meyr., and leucophanes, Lower. From the former it differs in absence of orange costal edge, &c.; and from the latter by the absence of blackish costal edge, color of hind wings, and shape of forewings. The faint ochreous tinge is not very noticeable; veins four and five of the forewings are very closely approximated at base; the neuration is otherwise normal.
One specimen, “Coomooboolaroo,” Queensland (Coll. Barnard).

Other references

Xylorycta homoleuca, Lower. Trans. Roy. Soc. S.A.1894, 91. Male and female, 31-35 mm.; antennal ciliations in male, 1 ½.
This is certainly very near X. orectis, Meyr., differing only in the total absence of ochreous tinge on head, thorax, and costal margins and the fuscous colouration of legs. In my specimens the forewings are snow-white. Charters Towers: three specimens from Mr. Dodd. Lower's type was from-near Duaringa. Mr. Dodd informs me that he found the larvae feeding under a web on the bark of Cupania. (Turner, 1898).

Part I.
By D. Goudie.
(Read before the Field Naturalists’ Club of Victoria, 11th Aug., 1902.)
Xylorycta homoleuca, Lower.—This insect, though somewhat local, would appear to have a wide range, being found not only in the Mallee, but in North Queensland. The caterpillars bore into the twigs of the Needlewood, Hakea leucoptera, to the depth of about 1 ½ inches, and fastening the mouth of their habitation with web and refuse, devour at their leisure the leaves they convey there during the night. They attack young and stunted trees in preference to old ones, and generally choose a fork in which to make their abode. When about to change they spin a very hard yellow wad across the entrance of their tunnel, and it can thus be seen when to take them. The moths emerge in November. The following descriptions of the larva and pupa may be of use to collectors :—
Young Larva.—Head dark brown. First segment dark, shining red. Prominent. Ground colour of body slaty-grey, darker in the full-grown caterpillar. Dorsal line dark grey ; this, however, appears to come and go with the respiration of the larva. On each side of this there is a row of polished black streaks, broadening into spots near the anal segment, which is dark grey without markings. Lateral area with three rows of small black specks, with violet-pink markings between. These are very variable, however, and sometimes are altogether wanting. Head and body covered thinly with a few fine hairs. Feet red, darker in full-grown specimens.
Pupa.—Length, from ½ to 7/8 of an inch. Narrow. Light brown when freshly changed, but soon becoming darker. Head dark brown or black; not pronged like X. cryptophaga. As the time for emerging draws near the whole pupa, with the exception of the wing-cases, turns nearly black, and this, contrasted with the shining white wings inside, gives it quite a handsome appearance. The moths generally emerge during the night. (Goudie, 1902).

Xylorycta homoleuca, Low.
Four specimens, October and November. (Lower, 1917)

Food plants: Larva under web in bark. Larval foodplant: Cupaniopsis sp. (Sapindaceae). (Edwards, 2003). [Hakea sp. not confirmed; however, similarities with larval habits of X. leucophanes and others are considerable].
Flight period: October, November.
Distribution: Queensland. Endemic. (Edwards, 2003).