Coffs Habour Butterfly House
  
Search and Identify
Caterpillars in Australia Australia
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@yahoo.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Australia has about 20,000 species of moths and butterflies. The caterpillars of less than 5% of these species are known.

Most insect taxonomy has been performed using the adult forms, so usually the only way to determine the species of a caterpillar is to rear it through to the adult butterfly or moth, and then identify that. Even if you think you get a match using these webpages, please take it into protective custody, and rear it to the adult. We would love to see your photos of the caterpillar and of the resulting adult.

Click on one of the following 8 options :

big hairy
BIG: 6 cms or more long,
hairy
small
small: shorter than 6 cms
hairy
small smooth
small: shorter than 6 cms,
not hairy

sparse or short hairs,
smooth or warty

BIG: 6 cms or more long,
not hairy

sparse or short hairs,
smooth or warty
borer
lives in a borehole
in a stem, twig, branch, trunk, or the ground
shelter
lives in a fixed shelter
made of silk or leaves or detritus
case moth
lives in a case
carries the case around
possible non-caterpillar
maybe not be a caterpillar


If you cannot get enough information from these webpages, please feel free to contact us, and tell us:-
  • country (not obvious from email !),
  • state or province or area,
  • length and diameter,
  • colour and description,
  • circumstances in which it was found,
  • possible foodplants, and
  • if at all possible: 3 photographs of it :
        1. from the side,
        2. from on top, and
        3. of the head in close up.
  • Please note that we do not know much about non-Australian species.


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    (updated 3 June 2014, 19 July 2019, 30 October 2020, 11 November 2021)