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Magpie moth

Nyctemera annulata


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.



Host Plant
Cineraria, groundsel, ragwort, and other plants in the Senecio family. There are 19 native Senecio species.
Laid in groups, yellow. 6-7 days.
Black with tufts of hairs and blue spots on each segment, red lines down its side and back. 36 mm long.
In crevices, black and shiny with yellow markings. 12-35 days.
Black with white spots.
Forewing length
17-23 mm
Has the ability to freeze themselves and survive.
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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