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

Uresiphita maorialis (Kowhai moth)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Pyraloidea
Family: Crambidae
Genus: Uresiphita
Species: U.  maorialis
Binomial name: Uresiphita maorialis
Synonym: Uresiphita polygonalis maorialis
Common name: Kowhai Moth 

The Kowhai moth (Uresiphita maorialis) is a New Zealand native which is found throughout New Zealand. It is also found in the Pacific, including Hawaii, Sri Lanka, Europe and northern & southern Africa. In New Zealand, it is seen from October to March.They have a wingspan  > 20 mm.  They are often seen flying during the day. The  Kowhai moth caterpillar (green/orange with black spots) is about 15 mm long. These spotted caterpillars feed on kowhai, brooms, lupins, gorse, clovers.

The Australian Uresiphita polygonalis ornithopteralis has also naturalised in NZ, recorded from Northland. It has a broad dark band around the fringe of the underside of the rear wing. This band is absent from Uresiphita maorialis.)

It is a very variable coloured moth as seen in the photos below.

Another photo of the same species with wings closed showing a different pattern.

The moth's underside.

The Kowhai moth (Uresiphita maorialis) caterpillar.  They can be green in colour.


Green form

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/