Don Herbison-Evans (
(Photo: by David Carter, Natural History Museum, London,
courtesy of the Denys Long)
These Caterpillars are dark grey and hairy, with pale spots, and a red neck. They feed nocturnally on various plants from the family MYRTACEAE, including:
Early instars are gregarious, and are precessionary. Later instars are solitary.
The female adult moths have grey-brown forewings, each with a large dark patch containing a golden spot near the centre. The hindwings are dark brown.
The male adult moths have white forewings, each with a dark patch containing a gold spot, and also each having a dark diagonal line. Both sexes have a very hairy head and thorax. The abdomen of both sexes has a dorsal gold spot on each segment. The forewings of both sexes have black and gold chequered edges and a submarginal arc of white spots. The moths have a wingspan of about 3 cms.
The eggs are laid under an irregular fluffy mass of fawn hairs.
The species has been found over most of Australia, including :
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 17.11, p. 425.
Moths of Victoria: Vol 2: Noctuoidea(A),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 10-11.
(updated 1 August 2010)