Caterpillar of the Common Forest Looper moth (Pseudocoremia suavis)
Species: P. suavis
Binomial name: Pseudocoremia suavis
Common name: Caterpillar of the common forest looper moth.
This caterpillar is a looper with three pairs of thoracic legs, one pair of abdominal and one pair of anal prolegs. It is the larvae of the endemic common forest looper a moth with a wingspan of about 30 mm and is a member of the Geometridae family. This moth is common throughout New Zealand at altitudes up to about 900 m, with the larvae feeding on a wide range of trees and shrubs. This caterpillar is not known as a significant pest of native species but it has caused serious defoliation in exotic plantation forests. Several outbreaks occurred in pine plantations in Canterbury in the 1950s and early 1960s and in North Island Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) plantations in the 1970s. These outbreaks are the only known cases in New Zealand where large areas of exotic conifer forest were defoliated by an insect. It is thought that these outbreaks were associated with tree stress produced by drought in Canterbury and the effect of dry summers and the needle cast fungus, Phaeocryptopus gaeumannii, in Kaingaroa. Epidemic populations cause severe defoliation which leads to decreased growth rates or even to the death of badly affected trees.
For more details visit http://www.nzffa.org.nz/farm-forestry-model/the-essentials/forest-health-pests-and-diseases/Pests/Pseudocoremia-suavis/Pseudocoremia-suavisEnt11
The moth of this caterpillar.
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