Subject: Beetle larvae?
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
April 28, 2015 3:53 am
Hi, I came across this strange insect in my yard ( Adelaide Metropolitan area). It followed me, definately turning around several times each time I stepped over it. It had 6 legs, long antennas, small whitish green & black spotted wings behind its head, but a very bold orangey-red & black spotted large grub-like shaped body. It was large – over an inch long in total. My yard is totally paved, but it is over hung by big yellow scented gum trees. I have searched for beetles that look similar & beetle larvae but drawn a blank. Wondered if anyone had any ideas?
Signature: Thanks, Gill
This colorful creature is a newly emerged Black and White Tiger Moth, Spilosoma glatignyi, and its wings have not yet expanded. According to the Butterfly House website: “The species may be found over the whole of the southern half of Australia.” The Esperance Fauna site provides this interesting information: “From the Arctiidae family, Spilosoma glatignyi is a stunning looking moth which despite its beauty, apparently tastes pretty awful in order to discourage predators. It sports bright red colors to visually signal its distasteful nature, but apart from predators that may find it roosting during the day, it would serve little purpose and possibly has another function. However to advertise to potential predators at night, it uses a high pitched vocalisation to warn them (particularly bats) that they are not worth eating. The larvae protect themselves with a covering of irritating hairs and feed from a wide variety of plant species.”
Thank you very much for sharing your expertise.