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


Orthoclydon praefectata (Flax window maker moth)

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:     Arthropoda
Class:        Insecta
Order:       Lepidoptera
(unranked):        Macrolepidoptera
Superfamily:       Geometroidea
Family:      Geometridae
Genus:  Orthoclydo
Species: O. praefectata
Binominal name:  Orthoclydon praefectata
Common name: Flax Window Maker, Flax looper

Orthoclydon praefectata is a New Zealand moth with a wingspan of about 22 mm. Its larvae are one of New Zealand’s flax grubs. The moth is nocturnal and shelters during the day. It deposits its eggs in batches of 1 to 90 on the back of the flax leaves. The female can lay up to 200 eggs. The young hatch out and immediately start eating the leaves. The larvae are also nocturnal and they shelter in the base of a leaf or in a dead leaf tube during the day. There are three species of wasp that help control this species, Paniscus productus, Phorocera marginata and Syrphus ropalus. These parasitises the larva but since it only destroys the host after pupation damage is still done to the leaves.

Photographed December.