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Australian Wildlife

  Emperor Gum Moth (Opodiphthera eucalypti)





Emperor Gum Moth | Opodiphthera eucalypti photo
Emperor Gum Moth

Image by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos - GNU Free Documentation License.    (view image details)

Emperor Gum Moth | Opodiphthera eucalypti photo
Emperor Gum Moth second and third stage caterpillars

Image by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos - GNU Free Documentation License.    (view image details)

Emperor Gum Moth | Opodiphthera eucalypti photo
Emperor Gum Moth third and fourth stage caterpillars

Image by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos - GNU Free Documentation License.    (view image details)



EMPEROR GUM MOTH FACTS

Identification
The Emperor Gum Moth is a striking native Australian moth. The moth is variable in colour, and may be reddish brown, brown or greyish brown. Their is a small eye spot on the forewings and large reddish orange eye spot with black border on each hindwing. Both forewings and hindwings have a narrow darker band about three quarters of the way out that runs parallel to the outer wing edge. the antennae are feathery. The caterpillars have lumps on their bodies called tubercles, with hairs protruding from the tubercles. Young caterpillars are quite dark, but when fully grown the caterpillars are greenish blue with yellow or cream stripe.

Size
wingspan 12 cm to 15 cm

Habitat
found on eucalypts and other plants such as Harpulllia

Food
Caterpillars feed on gum leaves, and are found in spring and summers from October to March. Adult moths do not feed.

Breeding
The eggs are oval and creamy coloured, and hatch in spring into caterpillars. The caterpillars [pupate into dark brown silk cocoon on a branch. The moth emerges the following years in spring or summer. The adults only survive for a few weeks.

Range
The Emperor Gum Moth is found in all states of Australia including Tasmania. It has also been introduced to New Zealand.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Saturniidae
Genus:Opodiphthera
Species:eucalypti
Common Name:Emperor Gum Moth

Relatives in same Genus
  Helena Gum Moth (O. helena)