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Epiphryne verriculata

Cabbage tree moth

Te Purehua noho ti

Ev L
Photo by Nicholas Martin

One of NZ's best known moths, illustrating camouflage with its finely-shirred pattern on the outspread wings exactly matching the dead leaves of its host plant.

Host Plant
Cabbage trees, Cordyline species.
Laid in rows, mainly on the underside of fronds, or near the base of dead leaves. Green when first laid, but turn brown and then red. 14 days.
Green caterpillars, loopers, make their way to the crown, grazing the surface of young leaves and then holes/notches out of the sides of young leaves. This damage is not detected until the leaves unfurl. 25mm.
Silk-lined cocoon in a sheltered site such as the base of dead leaves, in crevices in trees or leaf litter. Pupa has a long hook at its rear end.
Wings striped to camouflage with brown cabbage tree leaves. Male moths have feathery antennae with a large number of sensory cells.
Forewing Length
13 - 20mm
Throughout NZ, very common in native gardens and forests, wetlands and parks.
Native bush, anywhere that cabbage trees are found.
Photo by Nicholas Martin

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