This Caterpillar is long and green, with yellowish bands between segments. It is missing one pair of prolegs, so it moves like a looper, although not related to the true loopers in GEOMETRIDAE.
The Caterpillar is often found in Sydney on:
- Hibiscus ( Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ),
and is a pest on :
- Kenaf ( Hibiscus cannabinus ), and
- Cotton ( Gossypium hirsutum ), all of MALVACEAE.
The caterpillars damage the leaves of their foodplant in a characteristic pattern. Old Chinese drawings of Hibiscus show damage to the leaves that is similar in pattern to that which we observed on the bushes in Sydney. The caterpillar grows to a length of about 4 cms.
The Caterpillar pupates in a sparse cocoon in a curled up leaf.
light and dark forms
(Photos: copyrightGraeme Cocks, Townsville)
The adult moth is brown, with an outlined pale spot near the middle, and zigzag lines across, each forewing. There are two forms of the moth: light and dark. These have different DNA, so probably the species should be split in two.
The eggs are green and flattened. They are laid on the undersides of leaves of a foodplant beside the veins.
The species occurs around most of the world including :
- São Tomé and Principe,
- Society Island,
- Northern Territory,
- Western Australia
- Queensland, and
- New South Wales.
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1990, fig. 44.12, pp. 65, 449.