Chinese oak silkmoth Antheraea pernyi, photographed by Tony Pittaway.

Belongs within: Saturnioidea.

Antheraea is a genus of large moths found mostly in Asia, with some species present in Europe and North America. Some species are important sources of silk. The Australian species A. eucalypti and A. helena both feed as larvae on Eucalyptus leaves (Common 1970).

Characters (from Seitz 1913): Palpi and frons with rather short scaling, not rough and woolly, end-segment of palpi distinctly marked. Antenna of male quadripectinate, the processes very long, with the exception of the seven to ten last segments, whose branches are so short that the apex of the antenna has the appearance of being simple; the distal branches are altogether absent on the last 6 to 8 segments. In the female also quadripectinate, but the distal branches of each segment always short and on the last 8 to 10 segments only vestigial: in the male and female the apical edge of the distal segments (about 10) produced below. Tibiae and tarsi laterally with rather long hair-like scales, rough, the spur of fore tibia not scaled, long and broad in the male, much shorter and slenderer in the female; tarsi with very few spines; fifth segment of fore tarsus of female scaled in the middle of the sole, but the narrow scales easily fall off. Forewing with three subcostals, the first (morphologically the second branch) originates from the cell, or from the stalk of 3 and 4, or directly outside the fork, in single specimens the rest of the real first subcostal (SC1) is indicated as a small branch thrown off from SC2. SC3 always absent, the branches forming the fork being SC4 and SC5, SC4 always distinctly bent down at the the tip, therefore ending in the outer margin, not in the apex, the stalk of the subcostal fork originates at the same level as the upper median, lower median from the middle of the cell, upper and lower radials separate, cross-vein present; costal vein of hindwing always terminating in the apex or outer margin, not in the costal margin, subcostal at the same level as the lower median or more proximal. Basal spur of forewing very well developed. Larva sparsely hairy, with six rows of warts bearing thorns and a few long hairs widened at the apex; above the stigmata a longitudinal line; upper lip with deep narrow incision; antenna long. Pupa short and broad, without distinctly marked cremaster, loose in the cocoon, not attached by the cremaster; the bristles at the anal end not hooked, and not united in two bundles. Cocoon very dense, covered with a loose web and usually wrapped in a few leaves of the food-plant, ovate, attached to a small twig with one end by means of a short or long stalk.

|--A. assamensisGE05
|--A. astrophelaG84
|--A. eucalyptiG84
|--A. frithiH03
|--A. helenaC70
|--A. intermedia Lucas 1890L90
|--A. janettiL90
|--A. loranthiC70
|--A. mylyttaGE05
|--A. paphiaDS73
|--A. paukstadtorumRS10
|--A. pernyiGE05
|--A. polyphemusDS73
|--A. royleiDS73
|--A. saccopoeaG84
|--A. simplexB88
`--A. yamamaiDS73

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B88] Bouček, Z. 1988. Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera): A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

[C70] Common, I. F. B. 1970. Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 765–866. Melbourne University Press.

[DS73] Dickens, M., & E. Storey. 1973. The World of Moths. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.: New York.

[G84] Gauld, I. D. 1984. An Introduction to the Ichneumonidae of Australia. British Museum (Natural History).

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[H03] Heads, M. 2003. Ericaceae in Malesia: vicariance biogeography, terrane tectonics and ecology. Telopea 10 (1): 311–449.

[L90] Lucas, T. P. 1890. On Queensland and other Australian macro-Lepidoptera, with localities, and descriptions of new species. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 4 (4): 1065–1099.

[RS10] Regier, J. C., J. W. Shultz, A. Zwick, A. Hussey, B. Ball, R. Wetzer, J. W. Martin & C. W. Cunningham. 2010. Arthropod relationships revealed by phylogenomic analysis of nuclear protein-coding sequences. Nature 463: 1079–1083.

Seitz, A. 1913. The Macrolepidoptera of the World: A systematic description of the hitherto known Macrolepidoptera vol. 2. Verlag des Seitz’schen Werkes (Alfred Kernen): Stuttgart.

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