Lymantria pelospila Turner, 1915
Tropical Gypsy Moth
(erroneously: Dura pilospila)
LYMANTRIIDAE,   NOCTUOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


early instars, magnified
(Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)

The caterpillars of this species are thought to feed on the foliage of plants in MYRTACEAE such as

  • Bottlebrush ( Callistemon species ), and
  • Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus species ).


    cocoon
    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)

    Pupation occurs in a loose cocoon amongst the leaves of the foodplant.


    hairy pupa
    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)

    The pupa itslf is unusual in being hairy.


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

    The male adult moth has forewings that are off-white with zig-zag dark brown markings. The hindwings are plain off-white.


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The male moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)

    The flightless female has no apparent wings, and has a bulbous brown hairy body.


    female on her cocoon
    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)

    The species has been caught in :

  • Northern Territory, and
  • Queensland.


    eggs laid beside the female's cocoon
    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)

    The female lays her eggs where she happens to be standing, typically beside her cocoon, in a pile of about 50. The eggs are off-white and spherical, and covered in hairs taken from her abdomen.


    males attracted to female still on her cocoon
    (Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)


    Further reading :

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 111.

    A. Jefferis Turner,
    Studies in Australian Lepidoptera,
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland,
    Volume 27, Part 1 (1915), p. 24.


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    (updated 11 February 2010, 4 May 2019)