Gum Leaf Skeletonizer
The caterpillars are green-yellow with long pale hairs, grow up to 25 mm long and have a characteristic brown horn-like tuft.
Adult - Colour -
Caterpillar - 25 mm long when fully grown.
Colour - Green and yellow with long pale hairs.
Head - Horn like tuft formed from a series of moulted head capsules.
Habits - Young caterpillars feed in groups, older ones feed singly.
Pupa - In litter on ground or under loose bark on trunks.
The eggs are laid in clusters on the leaves and caterpillars are usually observed between September and January. They pupate in litter at the base of the tree or under loose bark.
Habitats:Origin and History:
Hairs on caterpillar cause skin rashes.
They attack many species of eucalypts with a preference for Jarrah, Wandoo and River Red Gum. Heavy infestations may completely defoliate trees but rarely kill them. Young caterpillars feed in groups, initially on the lower leaves, and reduce the leave to a skeleton of veins. Larger caterpillars feed individually and consume the whole leaf or leave only the midrib.
Management and Control:Control is only required in very heavy infestations.
Related Species:Similar Species:
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.
Agriculture WA PestWeb.
Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.