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Mottled Cup Moth ♂ (Doratifera vulnerans) Also called spitfire caterpillar these can cause a nasty sting from those spines which are everted when the larva feels threatened.<br />
The twisted grey lateral shading indicates that changes are beginning and within the hour this one will form a hardened brown cup around itself in which it pupates. The cup is firmly attached to a eucalyptus stem and looks almost exactly like a gum nut... great camouflage. Another interesting feature of these caterpillars is that they have no legs and move around on a full-length &#039;foot&#039; rather like a slug. <br />
About 25mm long.<br />
I know this is a male only because I grew it out to adult. <br />
Although these cups are a clever disguise the introduced European wasp decimates them.<br />
<br />
<figure class="photo"><a href="https://www.jungledragon.com/image/36664/mottled_cup_moth_doratifera_vulnerans.html" title="Mottled Cup Moth ♂ (Doratifera vulnerans)"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.jungledragon.com/images/2532/36664_thumb.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=05GMT0V3GWVNE7GGM1R2&Expires=1578528010&Signature=hYhkmtUO2NBx5sJ728we2R3I9RU%3D" width="200" height="150" alt="Mottled Cup Moth ♂ (Doratifera vulnerans) This male moth was grown out and released after pupation. The larva was found here... <br />
http://www.jungledragon.com/image/36663/mottled_cup_moth_doratifera_vulnerans.html <br />
I particularly like the net pattern on the wings and the moth was surprisingly silky. <br />
Pupation took seven months.<br />
About 22mm long. Australia,Doratifera,Doratifera quadriguttata,Doratifera vulnerans,Geotagged,Mottled Cup Moth,Spring,moth week 2018" /></a></figure>  Australia,Caterpillar,Doratifera vulnerans,Fall,Geotagged,Larva,Mottled Cup Moth,mimicry,moth week 2018 Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

Mottled Cup Moth ♂ (Doratifera vulnerans)

Also called spitfire caterpillar these can cause a nasty sting from those spines which are everted when the larva feels threatened.
The twisted grey lateral shading indicates that changes are beginning and within the hour this one will form a hardened brown cup around itself in which it pupates. The cup is firmly attached to a eucalyptus stem and looks almost exactly like a gum nut... great camouflage. Another interesting feature of these caterpillars is that they have no legs and move around on a full-length 'foot' rather like a slug.
About 25mm long.
I know this is a male only because I grew it out to adult.
Although these cups are a clever disguise the introduced European wasp decimates them.

Mottled Cup Moth ♂ (Doratifera vulnerans) This male moth was grown out and released after pupation. The larva was found here... <br />
http://www.jungledragon.com/image/36663/mottled_cup_moth_doratifera_vulnerans.html <br />
I particularly like the net pattern on the wings and the moth was surprisingly silky. <br />
Pupation took seven months.<br />
About 22mm long. Australia,Doratifera,Doratifera quadriguttata,Doratifera vulnerans,Geotagged,Mottled Cup Moth,Spring,moth week 2018

    comments (5)

  1. Looks amazing .. Like a watercolor painting.. :) Posted 3 years ago
    1. Thanks Christiane. I promise I didn't paint it. :) Posted 3 years ago
  2. That's one incredible creature. Like a birthday cake or something... :o). Posted 3 years ago
    1. Hey you are right Ari... and it's got eight sparklers for candles. :) Posted 3 years ago
  3. Incredible, you just can't make up the appearance of this one, so extravagant. Posted 3 years ago

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Cup moths are Australian insects that feed on eucalyptus foliage. Cup moths usually produce two generations of offspring per year. The adult moths are brownish in color and emerge from their rounded or cup-shaped cocoons in late winter or summer. They soon set to work mating and laying eggs, and the caterpillars hatch in spring and fall.

Similar species: Moths And Butterflies
Species identified by Ferdy Christant
View Mark Ridgway's profile

By Mark Ridgway

All rights reserved
Uploaded Mar 10, 2016. Captured Mar 22, 2013 14:40 in 168 Forest Rd, Ferntree Gully VIC 3156, Australia.
  • DSC-HX30V
  • f/4.5
  • 1/125s
  • ISO125
  • 18.45mm