Creatonotos gangis (Linnaeus, 1763)
Hairy caterpillar
(one synonym : Creatonotos continuatus Moore, 1877)
ARCTIINAE ,   ARCTIIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Creatonotos gangis
(Photo: courtesy of Ian McMillan, Imbil, Queensland)

The caterpillars of this species are sometimes pests on:

  • Soybeans ( Glycine max, FABACEAE ),
  • Rice ( Oryza sativa, POACEAE ), and
  • Maize ( Zea mays, POACEAE ).

    The caterpillars are brown and hairy, and have a yellow stripe along the back. They appear to be able to eat any herbivorous plant.

    Pupation typically occurs on a dead leaf in a sparse cocoon incorporating larval hairs.

    Creatonotos gangis
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville)

    The adult moth of this species has brown forewings, each with a broken dark streak. The hindwings are white. The abdomen is red or sometimes yellow. The males have four eversible coremata at the tip of the abdomen which emit pheromones, each when inflated is longer than the abdomen. The moths have a wingspan of about 4 cms.

    Creatonotos gangis
    male with two coremata inflated
    (Photo: courtesy of Neil Hewett, Cooper Creek Wilderness, North Queensland)

    The eggs are round and yellow. They are laid on the leaf of a foodplant in rows, in clusters of up to 50.

    Creatonotos gangis
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville)

    The pest may be controlled by the use of:

  • an Entomophthora fungus.

    Creatonotos gangis is found over much of south-east Asia, including :

  • China,
  • Hong Kong,
  • India,
  • Japan,
  • Papua,
  • Taiwan,
  • Thailand,

    as well as in Australia in

  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.

    Creatonotos gangis
    male with four coremata inflated
    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pp. 46, 435.

    Peter Hendry,
    The Australian Arctiid Moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea: Erebidae) with emphasis on Creatonotos Gangis,
    Metamorphosis Australia Issue 65 (June 2012), pp. 1,4-7,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.

    Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
    A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 182.


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    (updated 31 May 2013)