Don Herbison-Evans (
(Photo: courtesy of Jenny Holmes, Victoria)
Initially, these caterpillars are pale green with a black tail spike. They feed openly by day on their foodplants, which include :
Later, the caterpillars develop a dark dorsal line, and two pale dorso-lateral lines.
Mature Caterpillars are a stout fleshy brown, with broken yellow lines over the body. There are subdorsal eyespots on the abdominal segments which degenerate along the body. The eyespots on the first segment are black, and on the second segment brown. There is small harmless horn on the tail which is black at the base and has a pale tip. The head and thorax are narrower than the abdomen. The caterpillars grow to a length of about 7 cms.
The moths have a wingspan of up to 7 cm. The body is brown and cigar-shaped. The forewings are brown, and the hind wings are red edged with black. The normal resting posture has the hind wings covered. They are revealed if the moth is disturbed, as it opens its wings for flight.
Underneath, the roles of the wings are reversed. The undersides of the forewings are red, and of the hidwings are brown.
The eggs are pale green, spherical, and laid in small groups.
The species is found over the western Pacific, including
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 16.10, pp. 414-415.
Pat and Mike Coupar,
Flying Colours, New South Wales University Press, Sydney 1992, p. 87.
Moths of Victoria: Vol 1: Bombycoidea,
Entomological Society of Victoria, 2008, pp. 28-31.
(updated 7 February 2013)