Painted Cup Moth Caterpillar from Australia

Subject: Bug Identification
Location: Central Victoria, Australia
July 24, 2015 7:54 pm
Hi, just curious about what this little guy might be – and I do mean little – I could barely see him with the naked eye. It is maybe 3mm long, and was found on a gum leaf, with what MIGHT have been eggs embedded in the leaf. Or not. Thanks 🙂
Signature: Ann Jeffree

Painted Cup Moth Caterpillar
Painted Cup Moth Caterpillar

Dear Ann,
This is a Painted Cup Moth Caterpillar,
Doratiphora oxleyi, one of the Slug Caterpillars in the family Limacodidae.  Many members of this family have stinging spines and there is a really nice image on FlickR.  You can read more about the Painted Cup Moth Caterpillar on the Butterfly House website where it states:  “Each shield bears four tubercles. Yellow stinging hairs are protruded from these when the Caterpillar is disturbed. These fold into triangular pockets when the Caterpillar is relaxed.  Along the sides of the caterpillar are fleshy spikes, like a skirt. There is also a flap covering the head. The spikes are translucent, and can be reddish or yellowish. The front pair are especially likely to be red. The caterpillars move like slugs because their legs are reduced.  The caterpillars feed on a variety of: Gum Trees.”  Though we have no shortage of family members on our site, your image is a new species for our archives.

Thanks very much for your reply Daniel. I’m pleased to have been able to send
you a new family member for your files. I will look out for a Painted Moth in
the Spring and see if I can add further to your database.

🙂 Ann

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