Animal Species:Shepherd's Footman Termessa shepherdi Newman, 1856

T. shepherdi is the largest species in the genus, and one of the most variable.

 

Lithosiinae Termessa shepherdi male

David Britton © David Britton

Standard Common Name

Shepherd's Footman

Alternative Name/s

Lichen moth

Identification

Most specimens have white markings on the fore wing between the medial fascia and the base of the wing, and yellow markings behind the dark wing tip marking. They can be separated from the similar T. xanthomelas by having a complete black marking at the base of the forewing. Individuals of T. shepherdi with extensive dark markings on the forewing also resemble T. catocalina, but will always have yellow or white markings on the thorax.

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. catocalina, T. xanthomelas

Distribution

Moonbi Range (NSW) south to Victoria

Distribution by collection data

Biomaps map of Termessa shepherdi specimens from the Australian Museum database

What does this mean?

Habitat

Montane forests

Seasonality

October to November

Feeding and Diet

Larvae probably feed on lichens

Life history modes

terrestrial, volant

What does this mean?

Classification

Species:
shepherdi
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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