Mottled Cup Moth
Black Slug Cup Moth
Four-spotted Cup Moth
Fern Cup Moth
Wattle Cup Caterpillar  
Green Slug Caterpillar  
Sinister Moth
Fallen Bark Looper
Dry Leaf Looper Moth 
Bizarre Looper Moth I


Fern Cup Moth - ? Hedraea quadridens 

Family Limacodidae 

This page contains pictures and information about Fern Cup Moths that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Caterpillar 30mm
The Fern Cup Moth caterpillars are brightly green in colour, with dark green and white lines along their body. Their body are full of stinging hairy spikes, especially two pair at the front and two pair at the end. If contacted, the infected area will be pain and itching, accompany with burning feeling. 
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We found this Fern Cup Moth caterpillar in Alexandra Hill along the creek feeding on the young bracken fern Pteridium esculentum during mid summer. We usually found more than five caterpillars per a small fern plant. The caterpillars usually feed on the bottom side of leaves. For some of the small fern plants all leaves were eaten. The large fern trees seem not infected.
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We brought some caterpillars home and watched them grow. We put them in a jar and supply them with flesh fern leaves. The caterpillars grew very well. When they grew to about 30mm in length, they started to move away from the leaves and wandering around. We knew they were look for a place for pupation. We cannot find find any information about where they pupate so we tried with leaves litters, stick and tree bark but they did not like any of them. We end up had non of the four caterpillars turn into pupa.
We came back to the site and try to found some more caterpillars and to see if any cue where they pupate. We did not found any of then and I think we had to wait for the next summer season.  

1. Moths of Australia - I. F. B. Common, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p303.

Up ] Mottled Cup Moth ] Black Slug Cup Moth ] Four-Spotted Cup Moth ] [ Fern Cup Moth ] Rainbow Cup caterpillar ] Green Slug Caterpillar ]

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Last updated: May 05, 2009.