Favoured Footman Click to enlarge image
Lichen moth (Arctiidae: Lithosiinae) Teresa gratis, male NSW: Depot Beach, 10 miles NE of Batemans Bay 13 Dec 1969 I.F.B. Common Image: David Britton
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    gratiosa
    Genus
    Termessa
    Subfamily
    Lithosiinae
    Family
    Arctiidae
    Super Family
    Noctuoidea
    Order
    Lepidoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Phylum
    Arthropoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Life history mode
    terrestrial, volant

Introduction

The pretty T. gratiosa is one of the most common lichen moths attracted to lights in Sydney over spring

Identification

Fore wings with a cream background, sometimes tinged with yellow, the broad basal black fascia with a pale centre, head with whitish scales. Can be distinguished from the similar T. diplographa by the white ground colour in the forewings and from T. zonophanes by the absence of black scaling near the tip of the abdomen.

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.

Habitat

Forested and heath regions

Distribution

From SE Queensland to Victoria

Seasonality

September to January

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.