Opodiphthera engaea (Turner, 1922)
(previously known as Antheraea engaea)
SATURNIIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Ethan Beaver, Alice Springs, Northern Territory)

The Caterpillar of this species is black with white setae attached through red verrucae. The caterpillar feeds on :

  • various species of Mistletoe ( LORANTHACEAE ).

    The caterpillars pupate in cocoons, typically attached singly to the main stem of their foodplant.


    male
    (Photo: courtesy of Ethan Beaver, Alice Springs, Northern Territory)

    The adult moths typically have yellow-brown wings, each with a single brown eyespot in the middle, and a diffuse brown line parallel to the outer margin. There is a pink and black spot at the tip of each forewing. The male moths have a wingspan of about 9 cms. The female moths have a wingspan of about 11 cms.


    female
    (Photo: courtesy of Ethan Beaver, Alice Springs, Northern Territory)

    The eggs are round and cream coloured, developing brown markings as hatching approaches. They are laid in irregular clusters on random substrates.


    eggs and first instar caterpillars, magnified
    (Photo: courtesy of Ethan Beaver, Alice Springs, Northern Territory)

    The species has been found inland in Australia, in:

  • Northern Territory,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales, and
  • Victoria.


    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 15.6, p. 406.

    Buck Richardson,
    Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
    LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 193.

    A. Jefferis Turner,
    Revision of Australian Lepidoptera,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Volume 47 No.1 (1922), pp. 354-355, No. 4.


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    (updated 21 November 2012, 12 February 2017)