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White Tussock Moth

Acyphas leucomelas

Description:

The caterpillars are found on the Acacia leiophylla bushes, with eggs were laid in a cluster and covered with hair from the mother. The caterpillars are a very colourful red and white, have white tufts of hair on their body and whiskers pointing forward from their front section. The caterpillars make a flimsy, loosely woven, cocoon between the leaves of the food plant. Pupation lasts about one month.The female has white wings, a black and white striped body and bright orange anal tuft with a wingspan of 2.5 cms. The male leucomelas is also white with a plain, thinner body.

Habitat:

This species has been recorded in NSW, ACT, Victoria & Tasmania.

Notes:

Beautiful fluffy moth with colouring similiar to that of a pearl.

1 Species ID Suggestions

white tussock moth
Acyphas leucomelas Lymantriidae


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16 Comments

AliceGreenup
AliceGreenup 8 years ago

Thanks telse! I was very lucky to spot this guy

Telse
Telse 8 years ago

Beautiful!

AliceGreenup
AliceGreenup 8 years ago

Glad you like it!

Cjagentdave
Cjagentdave 8 years ago

coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

AliceGreenup
AliceGreenup 8 years ago

ID Updated

AliceGreenup
AliceGreenup 8 years ago

Yeah it does look similiar Christiane. Thanks Argy i think i'll go with that ID

AliceGreenup
AliceGreenup 8 years ago

Thanks gator! I'll just post it as that for now & hope someone can give me an exact ID!

gatorfellows
gatorfellows 8 years ago

Acyphas leptotypa is white with a yellow abdomen. It has a wingspan of about 3 cms. Here are some more photos of pinned specimens for you to compare. http://www.boldsystems.org/index.php/Tax...
the range map with this websites shows collection of the specimens on the coast a little higher from yours. It does not tell us the full range in Australia. If it is the right size, it does look like a good match. If still in doubt you can post it for now as Moth; Lymantriinae ssp. or Acyphas ssp. Try googling Acyphas leptotypa and your location to see if any specimens show up in photo sites. Not really scientific, but can give you other options to research. If there is a college with an entomology department near by, that is always a good way to verify. :)

AliceGreenup
AliceGreenup 8 years ago

It looks similar to Acyphas leptotypa from that second link but i'm not 100% sure?

AliceGreenup
AliceGreenup 8 years ago

Thanks a lot gator! Ill have a look

gatorfellows
gatorfellows 8 years ago

Could not verify the range of the moth suggested. Here is a reference for Moths of Australia - http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au...
This second link goes to the Tussock Moths, Lymantriidae, specifically:
http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au...
Hope it helps :)

gatorfellows
gatorfellows 8 years ago

Here is a link that gives information about your moth. It is alos a good general site for moths of Europe and North America. http://www.leps.it/indexjs.htm?SpeciesPa...

AliceGreenup
AliceGreenup 8 years ago

Are the Laelia coenosa found in Australia?

ChunXingWong
ChunXingWong 8 years ago

Looks like a Laelia coenosa

AliceGreenup
Spotted by
AliceGreenup

New South Wales, Australia

Spotted on May 26, 2013
Submitted on May 26, 2013

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