(previously known as Phalaena vitulina)
LASIOCAMPINAE, LASIOCAMPIDAE, BOMBYCOIDEA
Stella Crossley & Steven Dodge
(Photo: courtesy of Julie Morgan, Eurobodalla, New South Wales)
These caterpillars have been found feeding on the foliage of various species in CASUARINACEAE.
The caterpillars pupate on a tree trunk in a cocoon covered in mud and detritus. They usually pupate just over a metre from the ground. They climb down to the ground and eat some dirt, then climb back up, often pupating on a tree other than the one they were feeding on. They spin a layer of semi-hard silk, and then add about 2 mm of dirt to the outside. Some also add bits of bark and moss.
The adults are white with brown markings. The thorax is white and hairy, with black markings that sometimes resemble a face. The female has a wingspan of about 6 cms. The male has a wingspan of about 4 cms.
The species is found in
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 12.15, p. 390.
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. 12,13.
(updated 6 April 2013, 15 March 2015, 19 February 2019)