Agarista agricola (Donovan, 1805)
(one synonym : Agarista picta)
Joseph’s Coat Moth

Don Herbison-Evans &
Stella Crossley

(updated 2 April 2010)

Agarista agricola
black and white form
(Photo: courtesy of David Johnston)

The caterpillars of this species have black bands alternating with either white or orange bands.

Agarista agricola
black and orange form
(Photo: courtesy of Iain Macaulay, taken at Byron Nay)

The caterpillars also have deep orange bands on the mesothorax and on the last abdominal segment. They have sparse black hairs with white club tips. Their head and feet are orange.

Agarista agricola
(Photo: courtesy ofRos Runcimanof Yeranda at Barrington Tops)

They feed on various vines from the VITACEAE family:

The caterpillars grow to a length up to 7 cms.

Agarista agricola
common natural posture, with head downward.
(Photo: courtesy of Carol Gainsford, Brisbane)

The adult moths are black with red, white, blue, and yellow patches. They often rest on vertical surfaces with head downward.

Agarista agricola
Female: wingspan 7 cms.

Agarista agricola
Male: wingspan 5 cms.
(Specimens: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

The females are larger and have a large white area at the base of the costa.

The species is found in:

Further reading :

David Carter,
Butterflies and Moths, Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, p. 266.

Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p. 464.