Hylaeora dilucida (R. Felder, 1874)
Ochre Rough-head
(erroneously: Hyelora dilucida)
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Hylaeora dilucida
(Photo: by David Carter, Natural History Museum, London, courtesy of Denys Long, East Sussex)

This Caterpillar is smooth, and green, grey or brownish. It has a darker coloring along the back, and is paler along the sides. It has a dark line bordered in white along each side separating the two shades. The prominent pale spiracles are outlined with black.

Hylaeora dilucida
(Photo: courtesy of Stephen Platt, Mt Cobbler, Victoria)

The anal segment has orange claspers, and two very dark patches on top, and a pair of black-outlined yellow patches underneath. When the caterpillar feels threatened, the tail segments are lifted, displaying the coloured patches, looking like the eyes of an orange horned monster.

Hylaeora dilucida
caterpillar underside
(Photo: courtesy of Stephen Platt, Mt Cobbler, Victoria)

The caterpillars feed on :

  • various species of Gum Trees ( Eucalyptus, MYRTACEAE ).

    Hylaeora dilucida
    camouflaged cocoon
    (Specimen: courtesy of Lynette Queale, Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia)

    Pupation occurs in a sparse cocoon which has a length of about 3 cms. The cocoon is covered in bits of debris. Metamorphosis in the pupa can take approximately a year.

    Hylaeora dilucida
    cocoon cut open after moth has emerged showing broken pupal skin
    (Specimen: courtesy of Lynette Queale, Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia)

    The adult moth has dark grey-brown forewings, white hindwings with dark edges and veins, and an orange body. The wingspan is up to 9 cms.

    Hylaeora dilucida
    (Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Moths of Victoria: part 2)

    The species occurs mainly inland in the southern half of mainland Australia, including

  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory,
  • Victoria,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    Hylaeora dilucida
    (Specimen: courtesy of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney)

    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 17.10, p. 421.

    Rudolf Felder & Alois F. Rogenhofer,
    Zoologischer Theil: Lepidoptera,
    Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara,
    Band 2, Abtheilung 2 (1875), p. 5, and Plate 96, fig. 5.

    Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
    Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
    Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), pp. front cover, 142.

    Peter Marriott,
    Moths of Victoria: part 2,
    Tiger Moths and their Allies - Noctuoidea (A)
    Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 14-15.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 13 July 2013, 19 October 2017, 22 December 2019, 31 January 2021)