Friday, 30 June 2017

Silkmoth of the week: Opodiphthera eucalypti

The Emperor Gum Moth (Opodiphthera eucalypti) originally only occurred on Australia, but was later introduced on New Zealand and now inhabits both the North and the South Island. This is the most widespread and common species of the Opodiphthera genus. It's a larger moth, with a wingspan between twelve and fourteen centimeter. Wild euclypti emerge in Spring and early Summer (mainly October to December). This confuses many moths when importing the cocoons into Europe. Some cocoons will hatch in the European autumn (their normal Spring flight), some will overwinter with adults emerging in our Spring and early Summer (their normal Autumn and Winter). Do not throw the cocoons away when they didn't hatch the first year. It happens quite regularly with this species that the moths wait for more favorable conditions. Cocoons are known to remain dormant for two to five years, with even an aberrant record of pupae remaining dormant for ten years. So be patient. 


Opodiphthera eucalypti male
Opodiphthera eucalypti male - Origin: New Zealand

Opodiphthera eucalypti male
Opodiphthera eucalypti male - Origin: New Zealand

Opodiphthera eucalypti female
Opodiphthera eucalypti female - Origin: New Zealand