Tussock Moth Caterpillar – Acyphas semiochrea

South-Australia-Natureteers-Lepidoptera-Tussock-Moth-Acyphas-semiochrea_1
Acyphas semiochrea aka Tussock Moth (Caterpillar on Acacia pycnantha leaf)
South-Australia-Natureteers-Lepidoptera-Tussock-Moth-Acyphas-semiochrea_2
Acyphas semiochrea aka Tussock Moth (Caterpillar on Acacia pycnantha leaf)

Acyphas semiochrea
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lymantriidae
Morialta Conservation Park – October, 2013 – mild conditions on Acacia pycnantha leaf

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

I suspect this caterpillar was ready to make a coccoon – I had never seen this species before, and I thought it was quite spectacular. Do not touch the hairs, they can be very painful! –  I have seen others since and they have always been much smaller – It is a pest on many species of trees and schrubs. – The moths are a rather plain, white.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acyphas_semiochrea

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