(one synonym is: Clathe arida Walker, 1855)
LASIOCAMPINAE, LASIOCAMPIDAE, BOMBYCOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Rachael, Wollongong, New South Wales)
This Caterpillar has dense grey, brown, black and white lateral hairs, which extend forward by the head to look like a moustache. Its back has white patches and a number of small knobs of various shades of red, brown and black. There is a knob on the last abdominal segment. The sides of the head capsule look like two enormous grey eyes, divided by two vertical black lines.
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.
The caterpillar has been found on
all of MYRTACEAE.
The caterpillar grows to a length of about 4 cms. It pupates in a cocoon spun between leaves of the foodplant.
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.
The underside is plain pale brown.
The eggs of this species are laid in a small cluster on a leaf of the foodplant.
The specimens have been found around much of Australia, including
Further reading :
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Dechauffour de Boisduval,
Faune Entomologique de L'Ocean Pacifique,
in M.J. Dumont d'Urville:
Voyage de Decouvertes de la Corvette l'Astrolabe,
Division 7, Part 1 (1832), pp. 225-226, No. 8..
(written 1 September 1995, updated 27 October 2011, 4 January 2014, 19 March 2017, 10 December 2017, 18 March 2021)