Four-spotted Cup Moth
Larva: ventral
Cup Moth
Cup Moth (Doratifera sp)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)
Family: Cup Moth (:Zygaenoidea Limacodidae)
Species: Cup Moth (Doratifera sp)
This Photo:     Back

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
While we knew some people were sensitive to caterpillar hairs, we didn't realise they could be poisonous.
Well this one is! Apparently it's worse than a bee sting. We were so lucky not to get stung, because the bush was full of them, and were pushing into it to get good angles for the photo's.
You can be stung just by brushing passed them.
You can see in the close up that it's feeling threatened, and the spines are protruding. If you look closely you can see a little edge on each one about half way along; that's where it retracts. They are hypodermic needles filled with poison!
In future we'll be treating these with a lot more respect & distance

Copyright © 2013- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 03-Jan-2013
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.