Don Herbison-Evans (
(updated 19 July 2011)
(Photo: courtesy of Jan MacDonald, Mackay)
These Caterpillars can sometimes be a pest on :
in Sydney gardens. They are black with yellow spots, and a thin spine on its tail. As they walk, this spine does a cute wiggle. The head and thorax are rather narrower than the abdomen. Late instars develop yellow bands between segments.
The Caterpillars have also been found feeding on a wide variety of other plants, including :
(Photo: courtesy of Genevieve Schebeck)
(Photo: courtesy of David Lewis)
However, in captivity, they quite happily consume and thrive on:
They grow to a length of about 7 cms.
The Caterpillars pupate in a sparse dark cocoon in the leaf litter on the soil near the food plant. The pupa has a length of about 4 cms.
The adult moth is brown, with a light stripe edged with dark brown extending from the inner margin to the tip of each fore wing. It also has a pair of white stripes running along its back from its nose to its tail.
The species is found as various subspecies across most of south-east Asia, from India to Australia, including :
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pls. 16.9, 29.10, 29.11, p. 415.