(one synonym is: Perna exposita Lewin, 1805)
GASTROPACHINAE, LASIOCAMPIDAE, BOMBYCOIDEA
(Photo: courtesy of Elaine McDonald, Nicholls Rivulet, Tasmania)
This is a grey and brown, hairy Caterpillar with an interrupted white doral line, two small black knobs on the back of each segment, and a black tuft of hairs on the back of first and last abdominal segments. The thorax has black dorsal markings The lateral hairs hang down camouflaging the prolegs. The head is large, and looks as though it has a white nose and speckled black and white cheeks.
It feeds on various species of She-Oak ( CASUARINACEAE ), including :
When disturbed, the caterpillar lets go, and drops to the ground. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 3 cms.
It pupates on its foodplant in a white cocoon sparsely decorated with hairs from the caterpillar's body.
The male and female adult moths are very different.
The females are grey, stout, and slow, with forewings each traversed by three zigzag dark lines. The females have a wingspan of about 3 cms.
The males are smaller, have a more contrasting wing pattern, and fly faster. The males have a wingspan about 2 cms.
The species occurs in coastal areas of Australia, including:
The eggs are oval and white and grey, with a dark spot. They are laid in irregular open groups on leaves or twigs of a food tree.
Further reading :
Pat and Mike Coupar,
New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 59.
General Illustration of Entomology,
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), Part 1, p. 159, and also Plate on p. 158.
Moths of Victoria - Part 1,
Silk Moths and Allies - BOMBYCOIDEA,
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 6-9.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 101.
(updated 24 August 2012, 6 December 2017, 24 May 2019, 9 January 2021)