T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Ischalis variabilis (Oblique-waved fern looper moth)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: Glossata
Superfamily: Geometroidea
Family: Geometridae
Subfamily: Ennominae
Genus: Ischalis
Species: I. variabilis
Binominal name: Ischalis variabilis
Common name: Oblique-waved fern looper moth

Ischalis variabilis is a member of Geometer moths family. All the five Ischalis species are endemic to New Zealand. 
Ischalis variabilis is widespread in the North and South Islands. They have been recorded from sea level up to 757m on Mt Ngongotaha near Rotorua
The adult moths have a wingspan of about 38 mm. There are two to three distinct transverse lines on the forewing. Both sexes have four discal spots which are usually visible dorsally as well as ventrally. The wings are extremely variable in maculation (spots). The females are paler than the males.
Ischalis variabilis are active at night and have been recorded year-round. The main flight period is October to March but they are seen during winter in the North Island. There seem to be two generations per year, but may breed continuously during mild winters
The eggs are usually deposited in January and February. They are almost hemispherical, slightly ovate, flattened, pale bluish-green in colour, covered with numerous very slight hexagonal depressions. As the enclosed embryo develops, small irregular reddish-brown patches appear on the surface of the egg-shell.
The larvae feeding on the fronds of species of Cyathea and Dicksonia ferns. The first-instar larva is very pale ochreous-brown, with two wavy orange-red subdorsal lines. Full-grown larvae are about 32 mm long and pale rusty-brown with an obscure pale-brown dorsal line. Pupation takes place in a silken pupa enclosed in a curled fern leaf or hidden amongst leaf litter on the ground.

A male moth.




A male moth.

A female moth.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/