Hairy Caterpillar – Australia
Location:  Lockyer Valley, QLD, Australia
August 13, 2010 10:15 pm
These appeared recently on all the ironbark tree on our property.
I can’t recall seeing them in the past, maybe there wasn’t as many then and I didn’t notice them.
Image 200 – each white spot on tree is one of these cterpillars.
Other images, hopefully, to help identify.
Hope you and your colleagues can identify it for me.
Thanks in advance
Steve Williams

Unknown Caterpillars

Hi Steve,
We do not immediately recognize your caterpillar, and we really need to feed the chickens, so we are posting your letter and we will attempt an identification later.  In the meantime, perhaps one of our readers will recognize your plentiful caterpillars.

Caterpillar Outbreak: Unknown species

Update: September 27, 2010
We just received a comment potentially identifying these as Gum Leaf Skeletonizers,
Uraba lugens, and we believe that may be correct.  We found a South Australia Government PDF entitled Gum-leaf Skeletonizer – Uraba lugens that supports the identification and there is also information on the Moths of Australia website.  Since ironbark is a gum or eucalyptus tree, this identification seems entirely possible.  We should also issue a warning that the hairs of this caterpillar can cause intense itching and other skin reactions.  The New Zealand Medical Journal recently reported on an incident involving three young female students who were exposed to the Gum-Leaf Skeletonizer Caterpillars and developed intense itching.

3 Responses to Unknown Australian Caterpillar Outbreak

  1. aussietrev says:

    The ID is going to be a bit difficult as these look to be very early instars but there is a very high chance that these caterpillars will leave a nasty rash if you come in contact with those hairs.

  2. dghewitt says:

    I think it might be Uraba lugens – the Eucalyptus leaf skeletonizer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *