Animal Species:Propitious Footman Termessa laeta (Walker, 1856)

T. laeta is the only Termessa species which also occurs in Western Australia.

Lithosiinae Termessa laeta female

David Britton © David Britton

Standard Common Name

Propitious Footman

Alternative Name/s

Lichen moth

Identification

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.

Similar Species

T. congrua

Distribution

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

Biomaps map of Termessa laeta specimens from the Australian Museum database

What does this mean?

Seasonality

October to December

Feeding and Diet

Larvae probably feed on lichens

Life history modes

terrestrial, volant

What does this mean?

Classification

Species:
laeta
Genus:
Termessa
Subfamily:
Lithosiinae
Family:
Arctiidae
Superfamily:
Noctuoidea
Order:
Lepidoptera
Class:
Insecta
Phylum:
Arthropoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

Further Reading

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
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