Animal Species:Propitious Footman Termessa laeta (Walker, 1856)
T. laeta is the only Termessa species which also occurs in Western Australia.
Standard Common Name
The broad black fascia in the fore wings do not touch each other, and do not have any pale yellow or white markings in their interior (cf. T. gratiosa and others). The males of T. laeta have paler ground colour in the fore wing compared to the hind wing, and both sexes have black scales on the anterior dorsal edge of the thorax (cf. T. congrua).
DISCLAIMER: The identifications presented on these pages should be taken as indicative only. As with many groups of Australian insects there has been no formal revision of the Lithosiinae in recent years, and there are many undescribed species present in collections. Many species are superficially similar, and require a specialist to separate them.
T. laeta has a broad distribution, and is found throughout coastal SE Australia (as far inland as Mt Kaputar in NSW) north to the Atherton Tablelands including SW Western Australia. It is the only Termessa to occur in WA.
Distribution by collection data
October to December
Feeding and Diet
Larvae probably feed on lichens
Life history modes
The majority of images of Lithosiinae presented on these pages were taken from specimens housed in the Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC) (CSIRO, Canberra). I would like to thank the staff and researchers at ANIC for their generous assistance in providing me access to this collection, and I acknowledge the depth of effort and the investment of staff time that has gone into building and curating this splendid resource. In particular, I would like to thank Ted Edwards and Marianne Horak for their assistance.
Dr David Britton , Head, Natural Sciences & Biodiversity Conservation