Small Caterpillars with sparse hairs
in Australia
  
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Some small smoothish caterpillars have features that are diagnostic of that species, such as:


Spodoptera litura

stripy grey-brown,
four yellow spots on the thorax,
omnivorous

Callopistria maillardi

green,
dark forward-pointing arrow
on the back of each segment,
feeds on Ferns

Aedia arctipennis

orange and speckled grey stripes,
pale spot on penultimate abdominal segment,
feeds on CONVOLVULACEAE

Spodoptera picta

orange and speckled grey stripes,
dark mark on first and penultimate abdominal segments,
feeds on AMARYLLIDACEAE

Iscadia inexacta

off-white, black spots,
yellow head, tail, and
yellow organ behind thorax

Apina callisto

dark grey, pale stripes,
3 short red stripes behind the head

Craniophora fasciata

green,
2 pale arcs on its bum


Some features are shared between two or more species, such as:


some CHLOEPHORINAE

swollen head and thorax

leaf miners


ringed by bands of various colours

knobbly

caterpillars with a pointed head

caterpillars with a slightly forked head


SATYRINAE

forked head,
and a forked tail

some NOTODONTINAE

forked tail

LIMACODIDAE

evertable stinging hairs

PAPILIONIDAE

evertable fleshy dorsal smelly organs,
behind the head

some NOTODONTINAE

evertable fleshy ventral organ
under the head

fleshy pair of horns
behind the head

some GEOMETRIDAE

only 2 pairs of prolegs

PLUSIINAE

only 3 pairs of prolegs

some CATOCALINAE

also only 3 pairs of prolegs

some CALPINAE

only 4 pairs of usable prolegs

LACTURIDAE

no legs

LIMACODIDAE

also no legs

LYCAENIDAE

also no legs,
attended by ants

COSSIDAE

red, black head

Proteuxoa species

brown
back-pointing diagonal stripes

Neumichtis species

brown or green
2 pale spots on bum


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(written 16 July 2020, updated 29 July 2020)