Endoxyla cinereus (Tepper, 1890)
Giant Wood Moth
(one synonym: Xyleutes boisduvali Rothschild, 1896)
ZEUZERINAE ,   COSSIDAE ,   COSSOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


drawing by Walter W. Froggatt, listed as Zeuzera macleayi,

Forest insects of Australia, Sydney 1923, p. 46,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by NCSU Libraries.

These Caterpillars are pale yellow and fat. They grow to a length of about 10 cms. Their diameter is about 2 cms.


drawing by Walter W. Froggatt, listed as Zeuzera macleayi,

Forest insects of Australia, Sydney 1923, p. 46,
image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by NCSU Libraries.

The caterpillars live in holes that they bore into

  • Gum trees ( Eucalyptus species, MYRTACEAE ).


    drawing by Harriet Scott, listed as Zeuzera macleayi,

    Original Water-Colour, courtesy of the Australian Museum.

    The caterpillars pupate in their borehole. When the adult moth emerges, the empty pupal skin is left sticking out of the hole.


    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richarson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The adult moths have a variable vague pattern of light and dark grey or brown on the wings, including a darker spot near the middle of each forewing.


    drawing by Harriet Scott, listed as Zeuzera macleayi,

    Original Water-Colour, courtesy of the Australian Museum.

    The forewings each have a sinusoidal inner margin, and the hindwings a convex inner margin. The moths are very large.


    female, drawing by Walter W. Froggatt, listed as Zeuzera macleayi,

    Forest insects of Australia, Sydney 1923, p. 45,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by NCSU Libraries.

    The females have a wingspan up to 23 cms.


    male, drawing by Walter W. Froggatt, listed as Zeuzera macleayi,

    Forest insects of Australia, Sydney 1923, p. 44,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by NCSU Libraries.

    The males are only half the size of the females, and have a wingspan up to 11 cms.

    The species occurs over

  • Queensland and
  • New South Wales.


    Further reading :

    David Carter,
    Butterflies and Moths, Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, p. 293.

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 26.12, p. 271.

    Walter W. Froggatt,
    The Giant Wood Moth,
    Forest insects of Australia,
    Sydney 1923, pp. 43-47,

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 25.

    Harriet Scott,
    Original Water-Colour "Zeuzera macleayi"

    Johann Gottlieb Otto Tepper,
    Part II Lepidoptera, or butterflies and moths,
    Common native insects of South Australia,
    Adelaide, 1890, pp. 30-31.


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    (updated 21 August 2012, 26 April 2016)