(Photo: courtesy of Jeff Wright, Queensland Museum)
These Caterpillars sting. The caterpillars are green and have stinging hairs. They feed on the foliage of Mangrove species, including
Early instars are communal. They were described as a "wrathful militia" by Joseph Banks when he was stung by some in Bustard Bay, Queensland, as he came ashore through the Mangroves in 1770.
The caterpillars pupate in cocoons attached to the stem of their foodplant.
The adult moths of this species look as though they are covered in dark brown hair. Only the face is pale brown. Each forewing has a pale-edged dark line from base to wingtip. There is a little tuft of long red scales just behind the thorax. The wingspan is about 3 cms.
The eggs are laid by a female on foodplant leaves in batches of 50-200, and covered in hairs from the abdomen.
The species occurs in Australia in:
Further reading :
James T. Costa,
The Other Insect Societies,
Harvard University Press (2006), pp. 523, 567, 577.
A. Jefferis Turner,
New Australian Lepidoptera,
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia,
Volume 26 (1902), p. 189.
(written 3 December 2014, updated 16 December 2022)