Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Eggs of a female Hercules Moth were recently found on Buck's light sheet. He decided to see what would happen if he attempted to raise them to maturity.
First instar Hercules moth (Coscinocera hercules Misc.) caterpillar.
 Soon the eggs hatched. And the white spiny caterpillars began to eat most of the leaves of the small Bleeding Heart tree (Homalanthus novaeguineensis). He asked me to photograph these small caterpillars and in so doing I went to my small Bleeding Heart tree to discover it was covered with another little caterpillar.

The tiny caterpillars on my tree were very photogenic.

Buck reared the small caterpillar and from its discovery on 6 October 2012 to the emergence from the cocoon on 6 November 2012 of a small moth, this is the result.
         Iscadia inexacta (Walker)                                                                   B Richardson photo
   Life cycle of  Iscadia inexacta (Walker)                                                  B Richardson photo

Note that the cocoon is formed by the caterpillar chewing small bits of the host plant and somehow joining them together.

This moth is in the family Nolidae; subfamily Sarrothripinae. The entire subfamily was formerly in the family Noctuidae.

In Ian common's book on the Australian moths he noted that the pupae of this species produce an audible sound by rubbing the projections of the abdomen against the sides of their parchment-like cocoons.

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