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Mottled Cup Moth caterpillar

Doratifera vulnerans


A 2cm long caterpillar which looked like a rectangular sponge finger with dark chocolate, white and yellow sugar icing !!. The caterpillar had raised knobs on its thorax and last two abdominal segments - four each. Each of these knobs had retractable orange bristles. Pic #2 shows head end, Pic #3 the rear end and pic #4 shows retracted bristles. The pro legs were translucent and appeared to do little to facilitate locomotion - they protruded horizontally along the sides of the caterpillar.


Eucalyptus trees ( this species unknown)


Inspired by martinl, I trotted down the road to check the tree where I had spotted the cup moth cocoon a few days ago and sure enough there were two caterpillars on the tree - probably later instars. contact with the bristles is supposed to have nasty side effects !

No species ID suggestions


Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 6 years ago

Martin, I was so pleased to see this one. Thanks to you of course, I've learnt so much and didn't even need to get stung !

MartinL 6 years ago

That's a nice spotting Leuba. I'm glad you saw some because I think they're mostly grown and pupated now. My moth emerged on Dec 7th and early instars were Jan 29 It looks like only one annual generation at this latitude, but they were more common this year than I remember. The bristles sting mildly for 15 minutes with no rash. Its a sacrifice I made for science.

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 6 years ago

Thank you Bernadette and Francis - they are cute little cattys despite their bristles. I was so lucky to find them -it's the season for these I think. There were two more cocoons on this tree as well.

Bernadette S
Bernadette S 6 years ago

Cool spotting - nice to be inspired by other spottings - and I love your description of this critter looking like chocolate and icing!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 6 years ago

sorry photos are not as clear as I would have liked !

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Lat: -37.89, Long: 145.31

Spotted on Mar 11, 2012
Submitted on Mar 11, 2012

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