Emperor Gum Moths

  • Creator
  • #32541


    Is anyone else out there raising some of these fascinating caterpillars? I have been this season, and have found it really interesting.

    Doing a bit of reasearch I have found them called Gum Emperor Moths, and other books, Emperor Gum Moths…which is right?

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #58171


    I am new to this site and to raising Emperor Gum Moths, I have just posted a new topic on the Main forum asking for help on how to raise them from eggs. Should I delete that and re-post it here? Sorry, still trying to work out the basics of forum posting. Bit embarrassing.

    Kindest regards,



    Hi Anna,

    Being common names both are correct, some butterflies have 3 or even 4 common names but the scientific name remains the same.  Dodonidia helmsii is referred to as the Forest Ringlet, Helms butterfly ( named after its discoverer), and Silver Streak, all of which are correct common names but only one scientific name applies.

    The Monarch  butterfly is the common name in USA and NZ, in Australia it is often called the Wanderer, and in the UK one of its common names is the Milkweed butterfly, all of which are correct, but the scientific name  Danaus plexippus is universal.  The common names can often lead to confusion (Large White butterfly, Great White, Cabbage white etc) which is why the scientific name is used.




    As a kid I always knew them as Emperor Gum Moths. There may well be a muck up with the naming.

    Anyway, they are such stunning little critters…I love them!


    Unless I find a new batch of eggs, all mine are now either in pupaes, or middle size, and monster size…and ready to  change into pupae in the next few days. Funny thing is they turn a lovely rust colour hours before they start to make their cocoon. Its good though as then you can keep an eye out on their wanderings, and have the joy of watching them make their cocoon.

    Some get quite artistic, and add leaves etc, whilst other more practical ones just get it over and done with with no fancy embellishments! (I know its for camoflage, but I like to think otherwise)


    Errol…the original ones came to me as pupae from a tree that had been cut down in Richmond. I waited till moths emerged, and mated, then collected eggs and grew them on from there…the first batch was in spring.



    Yes they are very pretty (and pretty big too). Thanks for the two you gave me Anna, it was fascinating listened to them tap and scrape their way out of their cocoons. Where did you find them?



    Interesting isn’t it? The NatureWatchNZ site and the Landcare Research site has them down as Gum Emperor (which is what we always called them as kids) but Australian semi-official sites like the Australian Museum list them as Emperor Gum http://australianmuseum.net.au/Emperor-Gum-Moth. I wonder if this is another case of misnaming by “authorities” here in New Zealand, like the “Great White” butterfly.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.