caterpillar, drawing by John Lewin,
A natural history of the Lepidopterous insects of New South Wales,
London: J. H. Bohte, 1822, Plate 10,
courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia
The Caterpillar of this species has sparse stiff bristles all over, including the head. The head is brown and crinkled. The prothorax is white with two dark marks. The mesothorax is grey with a pattern of several orange or red knobs. The metathorax is white with dark crossing lines on top, and knobs at the sides. The abdomen is off-white with several orange or red knobs on each segment, and with wide grey rings between segments.
The caterpillar lives in a tunnel bored into a branch of a
Some branchlets are attached to the frass and silk cover of the entrance to its tunnel.
By day: the caterpillar feeds on branchlets brought into its tunnel the previous night.
The caterpillar pupates in its tunnel.
The adult moths are grey with a subtle pattern of markings on the forewings.
The sexes are slightly dimorphic. The females are inclined to have a bolder pattern than the males. The moths have a wingspan of about 4 cms.
The eggs are pale green and spheroidal, and are laid in irregular piles.
This species is found all along the eastern seaboard of Australia, including
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 23.15, p. 230.
John William Lewin,
Natural History of Lepidopterous Insects of New South Wales,
London : T. Bensley (1805), p. 11, and also Plate 10.
Blog, Wednesday, September 15, 2010,
Xyloryctine Moths of Australia,
(updated 30 September 2012, 28 February 2020)