Don Herbison-Evans (
(Photo: courtesy of Carol Lockyer, Brisbane)
These caterpillars hatch from blue spherical eggs, each about half a millimetre across, laid singly on the food plant.
The Caterpillars are initially brown with a black and white head, a red knob on the tail, and a black mark on the back of the second abdominal segment. The spiracles on each side of the abdominal segments are black. In the last instars, the brown turns to bluish-grey, and the point on tail turns black. The underside and legs become orange.
The first pair of prolegs of the Caterpillars is degenerate, and so the Caterpillars move in a looper fashion.
The caterpillars are a pest on:
Specimens have also been found feeding on many other plants, including :
and is a pest at times on
The Caterpillars grow to a length of about 5 cms. They pupate in a white cocoon between leaves and stems of the foodplant.
The adult moth has forewings that have a pattern of light and dark brown.
The hind wings are black with three white spots along the margin, and an inner unbroken white band. The moth has a wingspan of about 6 cms. The pheromones of the species have been studied. A number of control measures have been proposed.
The adult moth is known to feed on fruit juice, and is suspected of piercing fruit to obtain it.
The species occurs in :
Further reading :
Butterflies and Moths, Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, fig. 46.10, p. 259.
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 46.10, p. 453.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 195.
(updated 30 May 2013)