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Caterpillars and Grubs also Pupa

Larvae found at Sportsman Creek Conservation Area

The caterpillar of the Orchard or Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly which grows into one of the largest butterflies found in suburban gardens.

Curious as to how the pupa managed to colour itself with these striking markings I asked Lepidoptera expert Don Herbison-Evans for the answer.

“The Glasswing pupa is naked, devoid of any silk except for the cremaster. Its colours are an exaggeration of those of the last larval instar: yellow spiracles ringed by black joined by a lateral black line.”

A miracle of evolution.

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The caterpillar is found on Mistletoe and when disturbed curl their heads back. They are a large attractive day flying moth often mistaken for a butterfly. A new species for the Conservation Area.

I.D. courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans follow link for further references.

Mistletoe Day Moth

The newly published book “Bush Companion Fauna Species of the Clarence Valley and Northern Rivers, New South Wales” is available to purchase direct from the publisher.

This book contains over 310 “full colour plate” fauna species in 250 “perfect bound” pages with both common and scientific names.

Order by email at to reserve your copy.

Price $25 a copy plus postage from Sportsman Creek Press.

Bush Companion Cover

The caterpillar of the Orchard or Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly. “Although this caterpillar is a pest on suburban lemon trees it is one of the most interesting caterpillars in Australia. Both its structure and its behaviour have evolved to an extraordinary degree to give it protective mechanisms against predators. It also grows into one of the largest butterflies to grace suburban gardens.”

Further reference available at

I.D. courtesy of Don Herbison Evans.

Papilio aegeus Caterpillar

“These caterpillars construct a case of silk. Most camoflage it with pieces of material from their environment, often characteristically chosen and arranged by that species”‘

Reference courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans and Stella Crossley and further reading available  at –

Sawfly larvae“Saw Fly larvae are not true caterpillars but are the larvae of various species of  wasps. They have 3 pairs of true legs and up to 8 pair of prolegs (true caterpillars only have up to 5 pair of prolegs).” Different varieties feed on varied tree species across the wildlife refuge.










Further reference available ;

Found feeding on Fireweed ( Senecio madagascariensis ) in the wildlife refuge. These moths are reported to feed on Asteraceae.

I.D. courtesy of Don Herbison-Evans.

Further reading;

Image taken of  20mm caterpillar feeding on Acacia leiocalyx. “The female moths are flightless, however are found over most of Australia. Newly hatched caterpillars have a special way of dispersing by spinning threads of silk which are caught in the wind. This species has recently (1999) been recorded in New Zealand”.

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

Further reading;

” Most of the caterpillars have two pair of  prolegs. They move by curving their bodies into loops. They are sometimes called “Inchworms”, usually hairless with  a slender green or brown body”. Found on a Red Ash (Alphitonia excelsia) at Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge.

Further reference;