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Aenetus virescens

Puriri moth

pepe tuna; mokoroa, ngutara; pungoungou

Av L
Photo by Olivier Ball

NZ's largest and most spectacular moth which takes 4-5 years from egg to adult, but with no functional mouthparts it lives for only a few days at most.

Family
Hepialidae
Biostatus
Endemic
Host Plant
Putaputaweta, kamahi and beech as well as puriri, and some exotic plants such as privet.
Egg
Round and pale yellow at first, turning black. 12-14 days.
Larva
Larva feeds at first on leaf litter and fungi, but later climbs a live tree and bores into the trunk.
Pupa
When it is about 10cm long it pupates in the tunnel inside the tree, where it stays for about five years.
Adult/Imago
Usually green but can range into pink and yellow. Colouration of male is variable, some with many silvery-white forewing markings. Occurs in the central and southern part of the North Island.
Forewing Length
27 - 70mm
Range
North Island only, native forest, parks and gardens.
Habitat
Forest
Photo by Sharryn Sait

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