Porela cinerea (Boisduval, 1832)
(one synonym is: Clathe arida Walker, 1855)
LASIOCAMPINAE ,   LASIOCAMPIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Porela cinerea
early instar
(Photo: courtesy of Rachael, Wollongong)

This caterpillar has dense grey, brown and white lateral hairs, which extend forward by the head to look like a moustache. Its back has a number of small knobs of various shades of red, brown and black. The sides of the head capsule look like two enormous grey eyes, divided by two vertical black lines.

Porela cinerea
later instar
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

The later instars of this caterpillar is very hard to see when on its foodplant, despite being quite spectacular in appearance. It is hard to find because it often lies along a stem, usually by a fork, so that its moustaches align with the stems of the fork.

Porela cinerea
(Photo: courtesy of Bruce Anstee, Riverstone, Sydney)

The caterpillar has been found on

  • Beach Cherry ( Eugenia reinwardtiana ),
  • Water Gum ( Tristaniopsis laurina ),
  • Brush Box ( Lophostemon confertus ),
  • Paperbark ( Melaleuca species ),
  • Bottlebrush ( Callistemon species ),
  • Tea Tree ( Leptospermum species), and
  • Tick Bush ( Kunzea species),

    all of MYRTACEAE.

    Porela cinerea
    Two cocoons: one opened to show the pupa.
    (Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The caterpillar grows to a length of about 4 cms. It pupates in a cocoon spun between leaves of the foodplant.

    Porela cinerea
    (Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The moth is brown with a fine intricate pattern on the forewings of white and grey. The hindwings are plain rusty brown. The moth has a fat abdomen, and a wingspan of about 3 cms.

    Porela cinerea
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The underside is plain pale brown.

    Porela cinerea
    underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Ian McMillan, Imbil, Queensland)

    The eggs of this species are laid in a small cluster on a leaf of the foodplant.

    Porela cinerea
    (Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    The specimens have been found around much of Australia, including

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales.

    Porela cinerea
    mating pair
    (Photo: courtesy of Rachael, Wollongong)

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    (updated 27 October 2011, 4 January 2014)