Brown Tussock Moth - Olene mendosa
This page contains information and pictures about Brown Tussock Moths that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
The Brown Tussock Moth caterpillar is hairy, with four tussocks of hair on its back make it look like a toothbrush.
We found this Brown Tussock Moth caterpillar in early spring 2002. We took it home to see how it would look like when it became a moth. We found the caterpillar on a garden plants (Calliandra sp.). We bring along with some leaves as its food.
We put the caterpillar in a jar with those leaves that we found it on. The jar was covered by a cloth and tighten by rubber bend. We cleaned the jar everyday. We put some more leaves in the jar everyday because the caterpillar ate a lot. To keep the leaves fresh, we put them in our refrigerator.
After a few days, the caterpillars pupated in a woven cocoon. The pupa is covered with the some hairs of the caterpillar as well. These hairs may cause irritation if contact, or if they were released to blow about. So we handled it very carefully. After the caterpillar became a cocoon, we do not need to clean the jar, just wait and see.
After another two weeks, it became a moth. The moths was 30mm in length with hairy body. It held its board wings like roots over their abdomen at rest. There are the white and brown grey patterns on its wings. From its antenna we knew it is a male. Moths usually active at night, so we opened the jar and put it in our backyard at night.
To raise caterpillars is fun, especially if we find an unknown caterpillar. It is easily too. We have raised some caterpillars such as the Wanderer, the Crow , the Orchard Butterflies and the Common Anthelid Moths. You may like to raise one too. Try it yourself next time when you find a caterpillar. E me if you successfully raise one or if you find any problem.
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