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Pūriri moth

Aenetus virescens

An amazing moth, NZ's largest and most spectacular moth.

A number of related species occur in Australia, New Guinea and New Caledonia.

Females can lay up to 1700 eggs indiscriminately on the forest floor before dying.

Biostatus
Endemic
Host Plant
Putaputāwetā, kamahi and beech as well as pūriri, 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 10 cm long it pupates in the tunnel inside the tree.
Adult/Imago
Usually green but can range into pink and yellow. Colouration of male is variable, some with many silvery-white forewing markings. Ocurs in the central and southern part of the North Island.
Forewing length
27-70 mm
Range
North Island only, native forest, parks and gardens.
Photo by Don Horne

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