Australian Agaristinae


Agaristinae is a charismatic subfamily of moths within the family Noctuidae (although sometimes treated as its own family, Agaristidae). Many species are brightly coloured or well-patterned, are highly active during the day, and are often mistaken for butterflies

According to the Australian Faunal Directory, there are currently 44 described species of Agaristinae in Australia across 21 genera.
This number should actually be 46 (and the genera 23), as there are records of the poorly known species Sarbanissa diana from Christmas Island despite it not being listed by the AFD, and there are now also records of Pseudcraspedia punctata despite it not being listed by the AFD (perhaps under a different name?). I can only assume there are also some undescribed entities (e.g., on BOLD), but for now I assume this covers all the known entities.

So how complete is Agaristinae in Australia on iNaturalist?

As of writing (13th February 2023), there are 4,730 Australian observations across 41/46 species (and within all 23 genera).

Agarista (1 species)
Agarista agricola

Agaristodes (1 species)
Agaristodes feisthamelii

Apina (1 species)
Apina callisto

Argyrolepidia (3 species)
Argyrolepidia aequalis
Argyrolepidia fractus
Argyrolepidia thoracophora

Burgena (1 species)
Burgena varia

Coenotoca (2 species)
Coenotoca subaspersa
Coenotoca unimacula

Comocrus (1 species)
Comocrus behri

Cremnophora (1 species)
Cremnophora angasii

Cruria (6 species)
Cruria donowani
Cruria epicharita --> zero observations
Cruria kochii
Cruria latifascia --> zero observations
Cruria synopla
Cruria tropica

Eutrichopidia (1 species)
Eutrichopidia latinus

Hecatesia (3 species)
Hecatesia exultans
Hecatesia fenestrata
Hecatesia thyridion

Idalima (5 species)
Idalima aethrias --> zero observations
Idalima affinis
Idalima leonora
Idalima metasticta
Idalima tasso

Ipanica (1 species)
Ipanica cornigera

Leucogonia (2 species)
Leucogonia cosmopis
Leucogonia ekeikei

Mimeusemia (3 species)
Mimeusemia centralis
Mimeusemia econia
Mimeusemia simplex --> zero observations

Periopta (2 species)
Periopta ardescens
Periopta diversa

Periscepta (2 species)
Periscepta butleri
Periscepta polysticta

Phalaenoides (2 species)
Phalaenoides glycinae
Phalaenoides tristifica

Platagarista (1 species)
Platagarista macleayi

Pseudcraspedia (1 species)
Pseudcraspedia punctata

Radinocera (2 species)
Radinocera maculosus
Radinocera vagata

Sarbanissa (1 species)
Sarbanissa diana

Zalissa (3 species)
Zalissa catocalina
Zalissa pratti
Zalissa stichograpta --> zero observations

So where should we be looking for the 5 unobserved species according to ALA records?

Cruria epicharita

Cruria latifascia

Idalima aethrias

Mimeusemia simplex

Zalissa stichograpta

Most of the 5 unobserved species have distributions confined to the Wet Tropics, from ~Cairns northwards.

Perhaps the most interesting species is Zalissa stichograpta, which is represented by a single record on the ALA, the type specimen collected in 1930 from the Bunya Mountains in SE Queensland.

@imcmaster @vicfazio3 @nicklambert @dustaway @domf @cher63 @kenharris @wellsii @dianneclarke @daviaker @hdavid @tas56 @reiner @larney @peregrine80 @ecosse28 @dhobern @davidtng @ianmcmillan @mattcampbellaus @kdbishop69 @dhfischer @sarahcobbaus @johnlenagan @jb2602 @urliup-wildlife-sanctuary @matthew_connors @paul2george @koolah @wambledyn @carolynstewart @eremophila @possumpete @dj_maple @d_kurek @gregtasney @bushbandit @kallies @leoncrang @ethanbeaver @ellurasanctuary @gumnut @twan3253 @benkurek__ @cesdamess @elainemcdonald

I have definitely missed out on tagging people here, so please tag anyone that I've forgotten

Publicado el 13 de febrero de 2023 por thebeachcomber thebeachcomber


@mscaus You might like to check if you have any and look out next time you are in the north,

Publicado por dianneclarke hace casi 2 años

One record from Tamworth, NSW. That's my nearest, I don't like my chances, but we'll see. Maybe a western mothing mission should be on the cards....

Publicado por nicklambert hace casi 2 años

Zalissa stichograpta is represented by three specimens, one from Cambridge Plateau immediately west of Casino NSW, and two from the Lamington NP, from Binna Burra up to the border
all the mapped positions given are wrong vs the noted locales, btw
Suggests doing the Border circuit tracks, Springbrook, Tweed Range, Cunninghams Gap track network or the Bunya Mtns should pay off

Publicado por dustaway hace casi 2 años

Nice, I wish these BOLD records fed into the ALA

Publicado por thebeachcomber hace casi 2 años

Your last link is a dead end Thomas

Publicado por dustaway hace casi 2 años

the "single record on the ALA" one?

Publicado por thebeachcomber hace casi 2 años

Neat inner wing margin on Z.s...sometimes I get lucky on Tamborine Mountain and a higher altitude moth shows up. Would be a nice one!
Thanks for this assemblage!

Publicado por dustaway hace casi 2 años

yes, the "single record on the ALA"...but it's a duplicate of the previous titular link, which is fine!

Publicado por dustaway hace casi 2 años

Good work.

Publicado por vicfazio3 hace casi 2 años

Very thorough. I wish I'd been doing this back when I used to spend a lot of time up in Seisia, I used to go out and look at moths but never took photos.

Publicado por mattcampbellaus hace casi 2 años

Alright alright, I'll see what I can do :P

Publicado por matthew_connors hace casi 2 años

I would love to have more time during the day, being based in Weipa I am in prime position for under recorded species on the Cape, sadly at the moment work is getting in the way of spending time during the day searching for these but my trap is running 80% of suitable nights so who knows what might turn up

Publicado por domf hace casi 2 años

Just checked my database I have two records of Zalissa pratti that as yet I have not uploaded to iNat 17th Jan 2017 and 4th Jan 2017. I will upload with photos when I can

Publicado por domf hace casi 2 años

4th Feb sorry not 4th Jan

Publicado por domf hace casi 2 años


Publicado por thebeachcomber hace casi 2 años

Great post! - I only have 3 (of commonly seen ones) - might take a while to complete the set!

Publicado por possumpete hace casi 2 años

as an update 10 months on, we have since ticked off 4 of the 9 unobserved species, leaving us with just 5 to go!

Idalima tasso -->

Mimeusemia econia -->

Radinocera maculosus --> and

Zalissa pratti --> and

Publicado por thebeachcomber hace alrededor de 1 año

Woohoo! For some reason your maps are no longer visible to me though :/

Publicado por matthew_connors hace alrededor de 1 año

yeah a few months back all my images in every comment I've made broke. I'm slowly going back and replacing them all

Publicado por thebeachcomber hace alrededor de 1 año


Publicado por matthew_connors hace alrededor de 1 año

ok text is updated and maps are back

Publicado por thebeachcomber hace alrededor de 1 año

great article. Will keep my eye out!

Publicado por wellsii hace alrededor de 1 año

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