Don Herbison-Evans (
Mark Jacobson & Stella Crossley
(Photo: courtesy of Jan MacDonald and Maya Harrison, Mackay)
The Caterpillars of this species go through various stages, with colours varying from green with a black band, to black with white bands and a red thorax, to red with black bands and orange legs.
The caterpillars feed on various plants from the family EUPHORBIACEAE :
These plants contain poisons which appear to protect the Caterpillars from predation, as in other Uraniids.
The Caterpillars pupate in a sparse cocoon in a crevice or between dead leaves.
The adult moths are black with iridescent bands of yellow and pink. The underside is an iridescent pale green with black bands. The moths have a wingspan of about 10 cms.
The species occurs in the tropical north of Australia, in Queensland.
They fly by day, and feed on the nectar of various flowers. They rest with their wings open and out flat. In January in bright sunlight in the morning hours, the adult moths are common as singles and as mating pairs in light rainforest on both gentle and steep hillsides, in the area west of Cairns. They flutter fairly slowly and range from ground level to the treetops. They may be seen both laying eggs and resting.
Further reading :
Butterflies and Moths, Collins Eyewitness Handbooks, Sydney 1992, p. 190.
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 12.4, p.384.
Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards,
A Guide to Australian Moths, CSIRO Publishing, 2007, p. 150.
(updated 10 November 2010)