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Cephalissa siria male.jpg
Conservation status

Nationally Vulnerable (NZ TCS)
Scientific classification

Meyrick, 1883
C. siria
Binomial name
Cephalissa siria
Meyrick, 1883
  • Hydriomena siria (Meyrick, 1883)

Cephalissa is a monotypic moth genus in the family Geometridae. Its only species, Cephalissa siria, the orange triangle moth, is endemic to New Zealand. This species has been classified as nationally vulnerable by the Department of Conservation.


This genus and species were described by Edward Meyrick in 1883 using specimens collected by Frederick Hutton in Dunedin. In 1898 George Vernon Hudson described and illustrated the species under the name Hydriomena siria. Hudson also used the same synonym when he described and illustrated the species in his 1928 publication. John S. Dugdale also discussed the species in 1975. The lectotype specimen is held at the Natural History Museum, London.


Meyrick described the species as follows:

16-18 mm. Forewings moderate, costa sinuate, hind-margin strongly sinuate; rather dark reddish-fuscous, markings darker; a narrow curved fascia towards base, posteriorly obscurely edged with yellowish-white; a median band, moderately broad on costa, much narrower towards inner margin, both margins obscurely edged with yellowish-white, only distinct on costa, anterior margin sinuate, posterior margin sinuate, somewhat projecting in middle; an indistinct suffusion towards apex. Hindwings moderate, hindmargin irregular, obtusely projecting in middle; bright deep orange, tinged with reddish-fuscous on hindmargin; cilia dark fuscous.


This species is endemic to New Zealand. Along with the type locality of Dunedin, Hudson noted that the species was also present at the Waihopai Scenic Reserve near Invercargill. In 1939 Hudson mentioned that the species was present in the Waianiwa and Takitimo mountains in Southland. This species has suffered a contraction of its range. It is no longer seen in Dunedin nor Invercargill, but is still present in eastern Otago and in the Rongahere Gorge on the Clutha River. It has been located in the Dansey Ecological District which is regarded to be the northern limit of its range. The species has also been located at the Mt Watkin Scenic Reserve, north of Dunedin.


Hudson stated that the species was seen in kahikatea forest amongst Carex species. C. siria is also known to inhabit the short tussock grasslands and shrubland in the Dansey Ecological District.

Biology and life cycle

The adult moths are on the wing in October and November.

Host species

The host plant for the larvae of this species is Fuchsia perscandens.

Conservation status

This moth is classified under the New Zealand Threat Classification system as being nationally vulnerable.

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