Undetermined Psychidae H
PSYCHIDAE,   TINEOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


right-handed caterpillar
(Photo: courtesy of Buck Richardson, Kuranda, Queensland)

This Caterpillar initially attaches four sticks around its case, all of the same length, and attaches them at right angles to the axis of the case. When the caterpillar grows sufficiently long, it attaches a new set similarly arranged to the old set, except that they are slightly longer, so that the radius of the new part of the case is bigger, and they are attached twisted a few degrees clockwise (viewed from the small end) to the previous set of four for a Right-Handed caterpillar, anti-clockwise for a Left Handed one.


left handed caterpillar
(Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

The caterpillar does this perhaps a dozen times as it grows, giving the case a right-handed or left-handed corkscrew appearance. The case can grow to a length of up to 3 cms.

One has been found feeding on

  • Purple Cabbage Tree ( Cordyline australis, ASPARAGACEAE ).

    Cryptothelea (Oiketicus) dewizi has been shown with this sort of case, but there may of course be more than one species with this style of case decoration.


    left handed caterpillar?
    (Photo: courtesy of Neil Hewett, Cooper Creek Wilderness, Queensland)

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    (updated 22 April 2011, 22 March 2015, 5 February 2016, 7 August 2017)