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Magpie moth

Nyctemera annulata

Mokarakara

Photo by Kate Young

This is a medium-sized native NZ moth but a related species, N. amicus from Australia, is also found in NZ and the two interbreed here. N. amicus has a pair of long black hair-tufts containing barbed hairs arising on the thorax and which project in front of the head.

The caterpillars are referred to as "woolly bears". The magpie moth is one of several moths that is seen flying during the day in NZ.

 

 

Biostatus
Native
Host Plant
Cineraria, groundsel, ragwort, and other plants in the Senecio family. There are 19 native Senecio species.
Egg
Laid in groups, yellow. 6-7 days.
Larva
Black with tufts of hairs and blue spots on each segment, red lines down its side and back. 36 mm long.
Pupa
In crevices, black and shiny with yellow markings. 12-35 days.
Adult/Imago
Black with white spots.
Forewing length
17-23 mm
Overwinters
Has the ability to freeze themselves and survive.
Range
Most of the North Island and north of the South Island, wherever Senecio species occur.
Photo by Leeanne Higgins
Photo by Stu MacPherson
Photo by Michelle Meyer

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