(one synonym is: Perna exposita Lewin, 1805)
GASTROPACHINAE , LASIOCAMPIDAE , BOMBYCOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)
This is a brown, hairy Caterpillar with two small red knobs on the back of each segment, and a black tuft of hairs on the back of first and last abdominal segments. The first segment also has a white tuft each side. The hairs on the other segments hang down camouflaging the prolegs. The prothorax is pink. The head is large and speckled in black and white.
It feeds on various species of She-Oak ( CASUARINACEAE ), including :
When disturbed, the Caterpillar lets go, and drops to the ground. It grows to a length of about 3 cms.
It pupates in a cocoon on the foodplant.
The male and female adult moths are very different. The females are stout and slow, with a wingspan of about 3 cms.
The males are smaller (wingspan about 2 cms.), have a more contrasting wing pattern, and fly faster.
The species occurs along the coast of eastern Australia, including:
The eggs are oval and white with a dark spot. They are laid in irregular open groups on leaves of a food tree.
Further reading :
Pat and Mike Coupar,
New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 59.
An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea, Otaheite and other Islands in the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans,
London (1803), pp. 158-159.
Moths of Victoria - Part 1,
Silk Moths and Allies - BOMBYCOIDEA,
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 6-9.
(updated 24 August 2012, 18 September 2013, 15 March 2015)