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


Declana atronivea (North Island Lichen moth)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Infraclass: Neoptera
Superorder: Endopterygota
Order : Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae
Genus:      Declana
Species: D. atronivea
Scientific name: Declana atronivea  
Synonym:  Detunda atronivea
Common name: North Island Lichen Moth. Zebra Moth

Declana atronivea (wingspan 40-45 mm) is found only in the North Island and is seen November to February. It is a patterned moth and hence blends in with lichen on tree trunks when resting.
Its 'looper' caterpillar (20–30 mm) feed on Pseudopanax (Fivefinger) and lichen. The caterpillar has two camouflage strategies, one to look like a dead twig and other is to curl up and look like a bird dropping.



The moth's camouflage wing pattern blending in with lichen on a tree trunk.