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Emperor gum moth (larva)

Opodiphthera eucalypti


12mm long yellow and black body with yellow tufts and an enlarged rear end shiny black with dramatic red tufts, white markings yellow tufts and some white hairs.


Eucalyptus leaf. Several different types of eucalyptus. Ranges from north Queensland to Tasmania on the east coast of Australia.


Pic #2 the tail looks a little bit like a ceremonial chinese dragon head. These caterpillars get quite large and very colorful. They can become as thick as an adult finger and maybe 100mm long. This could be the same creature 10 days later... and here is the first instar

1 species ID suggestions

MartinL 6 years ago
Emperor moth
Opodiphthera eucalypti Emperor gum moth larva | Project Noah


Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

We'll have to discuss the ethics of this some time martin. I've been trying to leave things as they are in general but I suppose some things have a better chance with a little help. if they are getting scarce I suppose it might be a good thing. (btw I hope you've put holes in the lid :)

MartinL 6 years ago

I have several in a container with gumleaves and will grow them out. This is not difficult. You are most likely to find others on the same branch. Groups are small this year possibly due to it being a good year for parasites. They start life totally black and this is maybe second instar.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Wow thanks martinl. The first one I've ever found. I used to be so envious when kids came to school with one of these in a shoe box full of gum leaves. Not any more !! :)

MartinL 6 years ago

You've got it argybee. This is an early inastar of the emperor gum moth. There's probably a couple of others at the ends of edjacent branches of the same tree. They get this big!

Victoria, Australia

Lat: -37.90, Long: 145.31

Spotted on Jan 20, 2012
Submitted on Jan 20, 2012

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Emperor Gum Moth Emperor gum moth Emperor Moth Emperor gum moth larva

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