White Stemmed Wattle Moth
(one synonym: Darala cupreotincta Lucas, 1892)
ANTHELINAE, ANTHELIDAE, BOMBYCOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Francis Hawkshaw)
This is a large reddish-brown caterpillar with pale spots, and a pale line along the back. The caterpillar is covered in dense hairs and bristles, which may cause severe irritation if handled. It has been found feeding on:
and in captivity has accepted
The caterpillar grows to a length of 7 cms.
It pupates in a cocoon under bark or in a crevice such as under the eaves of buildings. The cocoon is also covered in bristles which can penetrate the skin and break off, causing pain and irritation.
The adult moth is large, with a wingspan up to 10 cms. It is brown with darker markings, and a pair of small spots on each forewing.
The hindwings are red toward the base, and have a black submarginal castellated marking. The sexes are similar, except that the male has stronger markings than the female, and the antennae are feathery.
The hindwings are normally covered, but are dramatically displayed when the moth is disturbed. The moth sometimes adopts an asymmetrical posture, with the abdomen bent under the wings.
The species occurs over much of the eastern Australia, including:
The eggs are oval and speckled brown, each with a pale circled dark spot at one end. The eggs are laid in an untidy cluster.
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 13.1, p. 394.
Pat and Mike Coupar,
New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 28.
Zoologischer Theil: Lepidoptera,
Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (5) (1875), p. 3, and also Plate 98, fig. 10.
Issue 50 (September 2008), pp 27-31,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
Thomas P. Lucas,
On 34 new species of Australian Lepidoptera, with additional localities,
Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland,
Volume 8 (1892), pp. 75-76.
Moths of Victoria - Part 1,
Silk Moths and Allies - BOMBYCOIDEA,
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 20-21.
(updated 4 March 2013, 6 February 2017, 16 April 2018, 12 January 2019, 30 July 2020)