(one synonym : Eriogaster incompta Walker, 1855)
THAUMETOPOEINAE, NOTODONTIDAE, NOCTUOIDEA
(Photo: by David Carter, Natural History Museum, London,
courtesy of the Denys Long)
These Caterpillars are black densely speckled with off-white spots. They have larger white spots between segments, black hairs on the back or each segment, and a longer single white hair projecting diagonally upward each side of each of the segments of the thorax.
The head has a pale face, black pseudo-eyes, and a rusty-red neck. The caterpillars feed nocturnally on various plants from the family MYRTACEAE, including:
Early instars are gregarious, and are precessionary. Later instars are solitary.
The pupa is formed in a white cocoon in a sheltered spot.
The female adult moths have white forewings, each with a large dark patch containing a golden spot near the centre, and usually a vague dark diagonal line.
The male adult moths also have white forewings, each with a dark patch containing a gold spot, and having a more pronounced dark diagonal line. The hindwings are dark brown.
Both sexes have a very hairy head and thorax, and feathery antennae. 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 hindwings are dark brown, each with a set of yellow spots along the margin. 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.
General Illustration of Entomology,
An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea, Otaheite and other Islands in the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans,
London (1803), Part 1, p. 155.
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), p. 146.
Peter Marriott ,
Moths of Victoria - Part 2,
Tiger Moths and Allies - NOCTUOIDEA (A),
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009, pp. 10-11.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 178.
(updated 1 August 2010, 29 April 2018, 30 January 2021)