Friday, May 16, 2014

Creature Feature #209: Emperor Gum Moth

The Emperor Gum Moth is a large, hairy species of moth found naturally in Australia, favouring the warmer climes. She has also been introduced to New Zealand--probably accidentally--where she has become a  pest. This is because of the diet of her caterpillars, eucalyptus trees, and her eating habits; caterpillars will  defoliate the host trees. Luckily, eucalyptus trees are not widespread in New Zealand and thusher range is limited. Caterpillars hatch yellow, turning green as they mature and will generally remain in their pupael state over the winter, to emerge as adult moths in spring. Females can span 130mm, with males being slightly smaller. The adults do not feed, existing solely to mate, lay eggs and then die.

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