Autumn Gum Moth

Mnesampela privata

Family: Geometridae

Order: Lepidoptera

Description:

Adult -

Colour -

Body -

Wings -

Mouthparts -

Antennae -

Legs -

Head -

Thorax -

Abdomen -

Egg - Light green.

Habits -

Caterpillar -

Colour - Light yellow brown with green and dark brown markings when young turning to dark greenish brown when mature. On each segment there are two reddish patches with yellow lumps and are more prominent on one of the mid segments.

Body - Up to 30 mm long, not obviously hairy.

Mouthparts -

Antennae -

Legs -

Head -

Thorax -

Abdomen -

Habits - They tend to feed in groups.

Pupa -

Biology:

Life Cycle:

The moths lay batches of 50 or more eggs on leaves in February to March or July to August. The caterpillars feed on foliage for 8-12 weeks then pupate in the ground for some months before emerging.

Habitats:

Origin and History:

Distribution:

Significance:

May cause significant damage to young Tasmanian Blue Gums and River Red Gums.

Damage:

Young caterpillars skeletonise leaves and older caterpillars eat the whole leaf completely defoliating branches apart from a few curled brown leaves which are used for shelter during the day. Juvenile leaves of Blue Gums are preferred to the older leaves.

Management and Control:

Heavy infestations are usually sprayed with insecticides.

Related Species:

Similar Species:

References:

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

WADA. Insects and Allied Pests of Extensive Farming. Department of Agriculture - Western Australia Bulletin No. 4185.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.