, anSubject: Black caterpillar with orange spikes
Location: South Africa
December 20, 2016 6:59 am
I would like to find out what butterfly or moth might be the adult of this black caterpillar with orange spikes and white spots found feeding (in groups) on a Pigeonwood tree (Trema orientalis) in our garden in South Africa.
Signature: Craig Morris

Saturniidae Caterpillar

Saturniidae Caterpillar

Dear Craig,
Your caterpillar will eventually metamorphose into a Giant Silkmoth in the family Saturniidae.  We are posting your submission as unidentified prior to beginning any research.  This morning is our last day in the office before catching a plane in a few hours for a holiday trip and we may not be able to provide a species name for you because of the time needed to research your caterpillar’s identity.  In our own archives we have an image of Predatory Hemipterans feeding on the caterpillar of
Imbrasia wahlbergi and it looks like the same species as your caterpillar.  Images posted to iSpot Nature confirm that identification.  We also have images in our archive of Gonimbrasia (Nudaurelia) wahlbergii and we believe they represent the same species. 

Dear Daniel
Thank you for your very speedy reply. That looks spot on – very similar to the Wahlberg’s Emperor Moth (Nudaurelia wahlbergi) found here.
I appreciate your help.
Have a good holiday.

Location: South Africa

One Response to Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in South Africa: Gonimbrasia (Nudaurelia) wahlbergii

  1. Stephanie says:

    Hi there! I’ve found 6 in my garden this morning but they were all dead. No pesticides have been used. Durban, SA

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