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Spitfire caterpillar

Doratifera vulnerans


The final version of the D.vulnerans caterpillar - white-grey body with sets of red-orange tufts and yellow stinging hairs at either end and a turquoise, yellow and black saddle mid-dorsal.


Wetlands reserve on small eucalyptus stems.


For the first time I have noticed the very fine hairs hanging down from the false legs shapes mid body - pic 3. What purpose? In pic 2 you can just see the tiny fine tips of the stinging spines. The yellow spines usually stay inside the orange bases but shoot out instantly if the caterpillar is disturbed. There seems very few of these around this year. This one was just about to turn itself into a cup. The twisted grey shades are an indicator that the changes are beginning. The next step in the pupation process is here then the moth can be seen here

No species ID suggestions

73 Comments (1–25)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 2 months ago

No holidays coming up here Sergio but that won't stop us. Thanks... one of my favourites. :)

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 2 months ago

Ready for the holydays! Absolutely beautiful, Mark. Congrats.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway a year ago

Thanks Christine. :)

Christine Y.
Christine Y. a year ago

Wow, that's beautiful! Great spotting!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 2 years ago

Thanks Neil and ceejayalyssa

ceejayalyssa 2 years ago

such a pretty creature!

naross 2 years ago

What a wicked little dude, and not known for his sense of humour, I'll bet. A fabulous photo, Argy, and great spotting. Nice one :-)

Argy Bee
Argy Bee 2 years ago

Thanks Anne Marie and cullenb1.

That's a crazy caterpillar - great spotting!

cullenb1 2 years ago


Argy Bee
Argy Bee 2 years ago

Thanks Maria, Gerardo and Stephen.

StephenSolomons 2 years ago

So beautifully portrayed and photographed as well

Gerardo Aizpuru
Gerardo Aizpuru 2 years ago

Extraordinary Mark congratulations :)

Maria dB
Maria dB 2 years ago

Wonderful series, Mark, and congratulations on your SOTD!

Argy Bee
Argy Bee 2 years ago

Thanks all again for the wonderful comments. Sorry I can't find the 'like' buttons. :)

Fantastic Series (all of them) great work. Thank you for sharing the stages of this moth in Series. Congratulations on the SOTD!! Very well deserved, Argy Bee.

MayraSpringmann 2 years ago


Fyn  Kynd
Fyn Kynd 2 years ago

Awesome spotting, congratulations Mark!

fakecalling 2 years ago

Praise the God!

Congrats Argy!
Such an impressive Caterpillar!

empidonax 2 years ago

Wonderful images!

elaphrus 2 years ago

What a fantastic image!

Arun 2 years ago

Wonderful spotting ... Congratulations !!

Mrinal Shekhar
Mrinal Shekhar 2 years ago

very nice

ceherzog 2 years ago

What a find Argy...a well-deserved SOTD! Great photography too!

Victoria, Australia

Lat: -37.90, Long: 145.28

Spotted on Mar 22, 2013
Submitted on Mar 22, 2013

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