Tropical Gypsy Moth
(erroneously: Dura pilospila)
LYMANTRIINAE, EREBIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
early instars, magnified
(Photo: courtesy of Dick Whitford, Mt Molloy, Queensland)
The early instar caterpillars of this species are hairy and pale brown with pairs of dark marks on the back of several abdominal segments.
Later instars lose the the dark marks, but develop a pair of pale spots on the back of each abdominal segment, and a gland marked by a dark spot on the back of the two antipenultimate sements.
The caterpillars feed on the foliage of plants in MYRTACEAE such as
Pupation occurs in a loose cocoon amongst the leaves of the foodplant.
The pupa itslf is unusual in being hairy.
The male adult moth has forewings that are off-white with zig-zag dark brown markings. The hindwings are plain off-white.
The male moth has a wingspan of about 4 cms.
The flightless female has no apparent wings, and has a bulbous brown hairy body.
The species has been caught in :
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.
Further reading :
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.
(updated 11 February 2010, 4 May 2019, 22 August 2022)