Caterpillar of the Kowhai moth (Uresiphita polygonalis maorialis)
Species: U. polygonalis maorialis
Binomial name: Uresiphita polygonalis maorialis
Common name: Kowhai Moth caterpillar
The Kowhai moth caterpillar is about 15mm long. The body colour can be green to orange with lines of black spots along its body. These spotted caterpillars feed on kowhai, brooms, lupin, gorse, clover.
When poked, kowhai moth caterpillars tend to drop and curl up into a protective spiral. (As in photo below).
They can occur in large numbers and strip many leaves off kowhai trees.
A caterpillar in a protective spiral.
A green form.
Kowhai Moth caterpillar.