Calliteara farenoides (T.P. Lucas, 1892)
(one synonym is
Dasychira queenslandica Strand, 1915)
Don Herbison-Evans,
Peter Mackey & Stella Crossley

Calliteara farenoides
(Photo: courtesy of Ann Peach, found at Tolga, Queensland)

The Caterpillar of Calliteara farenoides 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. This caterpillar was feeding on

  • Wild Almond ( Prunus turneriana, ROSACEAE ), and also
  • Puckerum ( Helmholtzia acorifolia, PONTEDERIACEAE ).

    Calliteara farenoides
    female, drawing by Embrik Strand, listed as Dasychira queenslandica
    Bombyces and Sphinges of the Indo-Australian Region,
    in Adalbert Seitz (ed.): The Macrolepidoptera of the World, Plate 38, fig c6,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Natural History Museum Library, London.

    The female and male adults are different. The female has white forewings, each with a few squiggly dark brown lines. The hindwings are white, shading to orange on the hind-margins. The female has a wingspan of about 6 cms.

    Calliteara farenoides
    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The male has more pronounced squiggly lines on the forewings, and hindwings which each have a larger orange area. The male has a span of about 4 cms.

    The species named Calliteara farenoides has been found in:

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
    and possibly
  • Victoria.

    Calliteara farenoides
    male underside
    (Photo: courtesy of Graeme Cocks, Townsville, Queensland)

    The holotype specimen described by Lucas is thought to have been mislabelled, and to have come from Queensland, not Victoria.

    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.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 107.

    Embrik Strand,
    Indoaustralische, papuanische und polynesische Spinnen des Senckenbergischen Museums,
    gesammelt von Dr E. Wolf, Dr J. Elbert u. a.

    Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Hanseatischen Südsee-Expedition 1909,
    Abhandlungen der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft
    Volume 36, Part 2 (1915), pp. 179-274.

    Embrik Strand,
    Bombyces and Sphinges of the Indo-Australian Region,
    in Adalbert Seitz (ed.):
    The Macrolepidoptera of the World,
    Stuttgart : Alfred Kernen Verlag, Volume 10 (1933), p. 293, and also Plate 38, fig c6.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 3 May 2012, 31 October 2014, 17 August 2020)