(possible synonyms :
Orgyia horsfieldii Swinhoe, 1923, and
Dasychira queenslandica Strand, 1915)
LYMANTRIIDAE , NOCTUOIDEA
Peter Mackey & Stella Crossley
(Specimen: from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea,
identified as Calliteara horsfieldii)
This Caterpillar of Calliteara horsfieldii is yellow with a grey back and a prominent black band on the first abdominal segment. The caterpillar has an orange head and is covered in long pale yellow hairs. These include four tussocks on the back of each of the first four abdominal segments, and a longer spike of hairs on the tail.
The larva photographed here from Port Moresby (New Guinea) was found on:
although it has been found on plants from a dozen different families.
Interestingly, this species or race has dimorphic larvae :- the yellowish one (illustrated) and also a reddish form. The yellowish and reddish forms occurred in same instar larvae reared from eggs from the same female. (Holloway describes the larva of Calliteara horsfieldii only as being yellowish).
The female and male adults are different. The female is white with a few squiggly brown lines on the forewings.
The male has more pronounced squiggly lines on the forewings, and hindwings which each have a large orange area. The female has a wingspan of about 6 cms. The male has a span of about 4 cms.
The moths called Calliteara horsfieldii are found in the oriental tropics, including :
The moths called Calliteara farenoides are found in:
There are many similar species and races which occur throughout south-east Asia, through New Guinea to Queensland. The Queensland specimens were been considered to be a subspecies of Calliteara horsfieldii, and named Calliteara farenoides. It not yet entirely clear whether this is a separate species from Calliteara horsfieldii or not.
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 19.4, p. 428.
Thomas P. Lucas,
On 34 new species of Australian Lepidoptera, with additional localities,
Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland,
Volume 8 (1892), p. 75.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 107.
(updated 3 May 2012, 31 October 2014)