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Australian Wildlife

  Helena Gum Moth (Opodiphthera helena)





Helena Gum Moth | Opodiphthera helena photo
Helena Gum Moth, male, Blackheath, NSW

Image by Donald Hobern - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



HELENA GUM MOTH FACTS

Identification
The Helena Gum Moth is an attractive large moth from eastern Australia with a wingspan of about 15 cm. The forewings are reddish brown with slightly darker eye spot in the centre. The hindwings have larger and bolder eye spot wing black circular margin. The body is reddish brown and "furry". The caterpillars are brownish initially, and go through a number of moults becoming green with pale stripe along the side when fully grown. The caterpillars grow to about 8 cm long.

Other Names
Helena Emperor Moth

Size
wingspan about 15 cm

Habitat
woodland, bushland with eucalypt trees

Food
caterpillars feed mainly on eucalypt leaves

Breeding
The caterpillars hatch from eggs which feed on eucalypt leaves. The caterpillars develop through several stages before they pupate into a hard brown oval cocoon that is made between leaves or on tree trunk.

Range
Opodiphthera helena is found in eastern New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, south west Western Australia.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Saturniidae
Genus:Opodiphthera
Species:helena
Common Name:Helena Gum Moth

Relatives in same Genus
  Emperor Gum Moth (O. eucalypti)