(one synonym : Antheraea disjuncta Walker, 1865)
Stella Crossley & Sue Rostas
This Caterpillar starts of as one of a row of eggs. The eggs are oval, and have a diameter of about 0.5 mm. The eggs are white or pale green.
The young caterpillars are yellow and have stiff hairs all over.
Later instars become olive green with tubercles (scoli) each of which has a cluster of short stiff hairs. The scoli are also green except in the 3rd instar, in which they become red.
The caterpillars have been found feeding on the foliage of a variety of trees such as :
The caterpillars can grow to a length of about 10 cms.
The caterpillar pupates in a stiff oval cocoon on the food plant or nearby structure.The cocoon varies in colour depending on the foodplant. On Celery Wood, they are silver. On Camphor Laurel they are golden.
There is a considerable variation in the coloration of adults of this species.
The basic adult moth is yellow with two zig-zag brown or pink lines across each wing. The forewings each have a small transparent dot in the middle. The males have hooked tips to the forewings. In this way they differ from those of the related species Syntherata escarlata.
However, the wings often have grey areas, which may extend across the whole of the upper surface of the wings. The moth typically has a wingspan of 14 cms.
The species occurs in
and in the northern half of Australia, in
A picture of this caterpillar appears in a book of paintings on Moths and Butterflies by Helena and Harriet Scott - paintings done around 1850s-1860s while living on Ash Island in the Hunter estuary. There it is under its older name Antheraea janetta.
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pls. 15.5, 15.7, 28.14, pp. 406-407.
Issue 51, December 2008, pp. 27-29,
Butterfly and Other Invertebrates Club Inc..
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2008, pp. i, 10, 34.
Tropical Queensland Wildlife from Dusk to Dawn Science and Art,
LeapFrogOz, Kuranda, 2015, p. 194.
Scott Sisters Butterfly and Moth Drawings 1840-1860,
Australian Museum Watercolour AMS193/60,
Descriptions of apparently new species and varieties of insects and other annulosa, principally from the collection in the British Museum,
Annals and Magazine of Natural History,
Volume 12 (1843), pp. 344-345, No. 8.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths,
CSIRO Publishing, 2007, pp. 6, 162.
(updated 15 November 2012, 13 November 2017, 7 July 2019, 8 November 2020)