Calliteara pura (T.P. Lucas, 1892)
(previously known as : Teara pura)
LYMANTRIIDAE ,   NOCTUOIDEA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
( donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Calliteara pura
(Photo: courtesy of David & Judy Addleton, Kempsey, New South Wales)

This caterpillar is yellow with an orange head and is covered in long white hairs. These include a tussock on the back of each of the first four abdominal segments.

Calliteara pura
(Photo: courtesy of Brenda Martin, Pambula, New South Wales)

Specimens have been observed devouring the leaves of :

  • Gymea lily ( Doryanthes excelsa, AMARYLLIDACEAE ),
  • Roses ( Rosa odorata, ROSACEAE ),
  • Water Gum ( Tristaniopsis laurina, MYRTACEAE ), and
  • Great Magnolia ( Magnolia grandiflora, MAGNOLIACEAE ).

    Calliteara pura

    The caterpillar pupates under a leaf in a voluminous loose cocoon containing the discarded larval skin and many larval hairs.

    Calliteara pura

    The adult female moth is white, with a pattern of broken thin brown lines on the forewings. She has white hindwings. It has a wingspan of about 6 cms.

    Calliteara pura
    female

    The male has more pronounced brown lines, and has orange hind wings with dark margins. The male has a span of about 4 cms. The undersides show a black dot in the middle of each wing.

    Calliteara pura
    female
    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    Our female specimen laid about 200 eggs on the cocoon. They were pale yellow and shaped like a doughnut, with a diameter of about 0.5 mm.

    Calliteara pura

    The species has been taken in

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


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 55.5, p. 428.

    Peter Marriott ,
    Moths of Victoria - Part 2, Tiger Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (A) ,
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 18-19.


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    (updated 14 April 2011)