Mistletoe Emperor Moth
(formerly known as Antheraea loranthi)
communal early instars
(Photo: courtesy of Steven Dodge, Nowra, New South Wales)
These Caterpillars are initially pale yellow with a black thorax and a black penultimate abdominal segment.
Later instars can become orange, with dark scoli, each with a white hair with a flattened tip. Final instars are dark green or brown.
The caterpillar feeds communally on :
The caterpillars pupate in tough dark-brown oval cocoons.
The caterpillars often pupate in a communal cluster of cocoons on the main stem of their foodplant or any neaby stationary object.
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 often listed as Opodiphthera loranthi) in
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, p. 406,
(listed as Opodiphthera loranthi)
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),
Butterflies and Other Invertebrates Club,
Issue 51 (December 2008), pp. 1, 4-7.
(updated 14 December 2009, 22 February 2017, 15 September 2019, 2 June 2020)