Opodiphthera loranthi (T.P. Lucas, 1891)
Mistletoe Emperor Moth
(one synonym : Antheraea carnea Sonthonnax, 1899)
SATURNIIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


early instar
(Photo: courtesy of David and Shireen Brunckhorst, Armidale, New South Wales)

This Caterpillar is dark green or brown, with dark tubercles (scoli) each with a white hair with a flattened tip.


(Photo: courtesy of David and Shireen Brunckhorst, Armidale, New South Wales)

It feeds in groups on :

  • various species of Mistletoe ( Amyema , LORANTHACEAE ).


    late instar
    (Photo: courtesy of David and Shireen Brunckhorst, Armidale, New South Wales)

    The caterpillars pupate together in tough oval cocoons on the main stem of their foodplant.


    (Specimen: courtesy of the The Australian Museum)

    The adult moth is rusty brown with wrinkled wingtips, a single brown eyespot in the middle of each wing, and has a black submarginal band on each wing, and a black costa to each forewing. The moth has a wingspan up to 14 cms.

    The species is found in Australia in

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria, and
  • South Australia.


    Further reading :

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

    Thomas P. Lucas,
    On Queensland and other Australian Macro-Lepidoptera, with Localities and Descriptions of new Species,
    Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales,
    Series 2, Volume 6, Part 2 (1891), pp. 292-293.

    John T. Moss,
    The Mistletoe Emperor Moth (Opodiphthera loranthi) (Lucas) (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae),
    Metamorphosis Australia,
    Issue 51 (December 2008), pp. 1, 4-7,
    Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club.


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    (updated 14 December 2009, 22 February 2017)