Anthelid Caterpillar


Family: - Anthelidae: Anthelinae

Order: - Lepidoptera



Colour - Variable, browns, yellows, reds, greens, oranges, often with blotches.

Body - Stout with long hair scales.

Wings - 2 Pairs. Membranous. Hairy

Broad, Wing-span up to 180mm in some species.

Mouthparts - Much reduced.

Antennae - 3 segments.

pectinate, bipectinate to apex. Feather like.

Legs - Broad overlapping scales. Feet (Tarsi) have 5 segments.

Head - Broad overlapping scales. Large rounded compound eyes.

Proboscis rarely present.

Thorax - Broad overlapping scales. 3 segments. Front segment much smaller. Hairy

Abdomen - Broad overlapping scales. 7-11 segments. Spiracles on segments 1-7. Hairy

Egg - Flat. Smooth. Asymmetrical.

Habits - Can't fly when cold.

Caterpillar -



Body - Has tufts stiff bristles which will penetrate and irritate the skin if handled. Bristles stick out of stout, silken cocoon case also, providing similar protection. 10-30mm long, 5-10mm wide.

Mouthparts - Chewing.

Antennae - Short. 3 segments.

Legs - 5 segments. Single claw on end.

Head - Hard.

Thorax - 10-11 segments. Spiracles on segments 1 to 8. Prolegs on segments 3, 6 and 10

Abdomen -

Habits - Feed during day. Herbivorous.

Cocoon - Silken. Has slit or funnel like opening to allow adult to escape easily.


Life Cycle:


Origin and History:



Caterpillars of this family attack eucalypts, acacias and pines (Pinus radiata)

Management and Control:

In most years control is not economical.

Related Species:

Commercial Silkworm (Bombyx mori)

Similar Species:


CSIRO. The Insects of Australia. Melbourne University Press. (1991) p749.

Goode, J. Insects of Australia. Angus and Robertson. p145.

Jacobs, W. and Renner, M. Taschenlexikon zur Biologie der Insekten. Gustav Fischer Verlag. p300.


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