Don Herbison-Evans (
early instar with very pointed head
(Photo: courtesy of Ken Jackson, Wedderburn, NSW)
The caterpillars of this species lack the spike on the tail that many caterpillars in SPHINGIDAE have, but the last abdominal segment is huge, and the body tapers to a tiny forked head. The caterpillars are green and covered in small warts. There is a diagonal yellow stripe on each side of each abdominal segment.
The caterpillars grow to a length of about 12 cms. They feed on the foliage of various species of :
The pupa is dark brown and has a length of about 7 cms. It is formed in a sparse cocoon in the ground litter.
The adult moths have forewings that are light and dark brown with a variable wavy pattern, and hindwings that are orange with a brown trailing edge. The moths have a wingspan of about 12 cms.
They are found over much of Australia, including:
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 41.5, p. 412.
The life history of Metamimas australasiae Donovan (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae), The Australian Entomologist, Volume 22, Part 3 (September 1995), pp. 91-95.
Moths of Victoria: Vol 1: Bombycoidea,
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 30-31.
(updated 25 January 2010)