Antheraea eucalypti in Tasmania?

Miguel de Salas mm_de at
Thu Sep 17 23:03:45 EDT 1998

This seems to be a rather American/European affair, but I thought I'd post
this here:

I live in Tasmania, Asutralia. About three and a half years ago (dec 94) I
was given a female emperor moth that someone had found. It was in a pretty
bad state, it laid an egg and died. I reared the caterpillar till the
adult emerged from the cocoon almost a year later, but it was a male. dead
If it had been a female, it might have been able to attract a male and mate...

Anyway, I always assumed it must have been an Antheraea helena, because
that is the only Saturnid in Tasmania. However, just recently I was
looking up some references, and noticed that it was not A. helena, but
probably A. eucalypti.

A. helena is found in most of Eastern Australia, including Tasmania. A.
eucalypti is only found in the mainland, and not in Tasmania (according to
the books). The adults are very similar. However, the larvae are very
different. A. helena larvae look similar to A. pernyi: green, and
furry/velvety, but no warts. 
A. eucalypti look more like Saturnia pyri larvae: smooth green skin, with
big warts which have long bristles...

The problem is my larva was very much like A. eucalypti (theoretically not
found in Tassie) and definetly not like A. helena.

Alas, I have no photos to proe it...:(

Miguel de Salas
School of Pland Science
University of Tasmania, Australia

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