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Caterpillars and Grubs also Pupa

Larvae found at Sportsman Creek Conservation Area

An as yet unidentified Bagworm which has camoflaged its silken cocoon with leaves from the wattle (Acacia leiocalyx)  on Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge.

Further reading;

“The pupa is enclosed in a round brown cocoon, attached often to the stem of the food plant, usually eucalyptus species. The caterpillar coats the cocoon with a special liquid which makes it hard and smooth. The cocoon has a ring of weakness around the top. Later, when the adult emerges, it does so by breaking the cocoon along the ring, pushing off a rounded cap and leaving behind a little cup (hence the name) with the empty chrysalis.” Image taken on Swamp Turpentine sapling at Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge late summer.

Reference and I.D. courtesy  of  Don Herbison-Evans.

Also called the Chinese Junk, “this caterpillar does not show its sting when resting, only when alarmed showing the stinging hairs. If touched – resulting in a painful sting and swelling.


Found on Grey Ironbark (Euc. siderophloia) on the wildlife refuge. “The larvae of some sawfly species are so gregarious that they are often found in a knotted ball of many individuals. Both, larvae and adults are quite harmless to people and do not sting”.

Reference and I.D. courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans and Donna Crossley.

Further reading-

Found feeding on Grey Ironbark (Euc. siderophloia) at Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. “When they hatch they feed communally. They sit on the leaf surface, touching each other, eating initially only the surface layer of the leaf. Later they seperate having a whole leaf each. The adult moth have brown wings with a row of black dots and hold their hindwings horizontally, like skipper butterflies”.

Reference and I.D. courtesy of  Don Herbison-Evans and Stella Crossley.

Further reading-

This caterpillar is spectacular in appearance around 6cm in size. The head capsule and body are brown and the sides of the body are marked with white”. Image taken in the Bird Sanctuary on Sportsman creek wildlife refuge, yesterday. This photograph shows a later instar in a defensive posture. It pupates in a cocoon in the ground litter. “The adult moth vary in colour from grey-brown with black markings and white speckles. The abdomen is orange with a grey anal tuft”. First recorded by Lewin in 1805.

Reference & I.D. courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley.

Commonly called “Spitfires”- although they do not spit or squirt anything other than regurgitating a droplet of Eucalyptus oil and stomach juices which makes them smell and taste unpleasant to predators. Considered quite harmless to humans.

Identification and Reference courtesy;  Martyn Robinson ; Australian Museum.

These caterpillars have four distinct tussocks of hair on their backs resembling a toothbrush. The caterpillar hair can cause irritation if contacted. They pupate in a woven cocoon under bark or foliage. The moths are not long lived and do not feed. Found on a Red Ash (Alphitonia excelsa).

Scroll image to enlarge and magnify.

Further reading and Reference –

An exploration into...
By Jeff Keyes