LITHOSIINI, ARCTIINAE, EREBIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford,, Mt Molloy, Queensland))
This Caterpillar is hairy and black, with a number of narrow pale green stripes. There is a red verruca, on each side of each segment, and three dark dorsalbulges: one on the thorax, one on the middle segment, and on on the final segment. There is also a white dorsal patch at the front and the back.
The head is brown, but normally held tucked under the thorax, making it difficult to tell head from tail.
The caterpillar is found on the trunks of trees, feeding on:
The caterpillar grows to a length of about 3.5 cms. It pupates under a piece of loose bark in a sparse cocoon. The pupa is orange, with a brown head, and a brown thorax with a very dark dorsal patch.
The adult moths are deep yellow, with bold black markings on the forewings. The bulges each side of the mesothorax of males are puzzling. Maybe they are some sort of organ involved in ultrasonic signalling used by this species. The females have no such bulges. The wingspan is about 4 cms.
The species is found in
as well as in Australia in
The moth is often mistaken for the Asian species Oeonistis altica.
Further reading :
Images of Arctiidae moths in the subfamily Lithosiinae,
Issue 55 (December 2009), p. 31,
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.
Johan Christian Fabricius,
Classi VI. Glossata. Noctua,
Volume 2 (1787), p. 140, No. 42.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 18.
(updated 10 August 2012, 19 February 2020, 16 March 2021)