Pterygophorus cinctus Klug, 1814
Bottlebrush Saw Fly
PERGIDAE ,   SYMPHYTA ,   HYMENOPTERA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
( donherbisonevans@outlook.com )
and
Stella Crossley

Pterygophorus cinctus
(Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

These are not true Caterpillars, but are the larvae of a Sawfly (which is really a wasp!). When young, these larvae are gregarious sitting side by side as they skeletonise a host plant leaf. They feed on :

  • Bottlebrush ( Callistemon, MYRTACEAE ).


    Other Saw Fly species
    have different foodplants.

    The larvae of Pterygophorus cinctus have very strong jaws. One group we captured gnawed through a plastic container in which we had housed them, leaving a little pile of plastic powder by their exit hole. They grow to a length of about 4 cms.

    Pterygophorus cinctus
    (Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    They pupate in a naked pupa without any covering or cocoon in the leaf litter.

    Pterygophorus cinctus
    (Photo: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    An adult wasp (it is misnamed as a 'fly') has pretty orange and black bands on its body. Its wingspan is about 2 cms. The species has been found in

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

    Link to
    other non-caterpillars

    Australian
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    butterflies
    Australian
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    (updated 23 January 2012)