T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Caterpillar of the Cabbage Tree Moth (Epiphryne verriculata)

Kingdom: Animalia 
Phylum: Arthropoda 
Class: Insecta 
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae 
Subfamily: Larentiinae 
Genus: Epiphryne 
Species: E. verriculata
Binomial name: Epiphryne verriculata
Common name: Cabbage Tree Looper

The Cabbage tree moth (Epiphryne verriculata a native, found throughout the range of cabbage trees.  It has a wingspan  when at rest of 40 mm . This moth is a fine example of protective resemblance. The moth always rests lengthwise on the dead leaves of the cabbage tree, so that the brown lines on the insects wings merge with the parallel veins of the leaf., making it perfectly camouflaged against the leaves. Also the ground colour of the moth is light brownish, of similar colour to that of the dead leaf.  
Its caterpillars feed on the young unopened leaves of cabbage tree (Cordyline australis and its cultivars.) Nocturnal feeding activity leaves holes and notches in the expanding leaves.
Caterpillars pupate amongst debris at base of tree trunk.

Epiphryne verriculata caterpillar




Epiphryne verriculata caterpillar on a Cordyline australis cultivar 'Red Sensation'




Caterpillar damage on leaf of Cordyline australis cultivar 'Red Sensation'