Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Gum emperor moth

Opodiphthera eucalypti (Scott)

Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Saturniidae

Size range

  • Large moth, wingspan 100 mm


  • Australian
  • In New Zealand, North Island, Nelson, and Christchurch. Maybe also Dunedin

Life History

  • Caterpillar host plants are eucalyptus, pepper trees, silver birch, apricot, grape vines
  • Damage can be extensive if there are large numbers of caterpillars
  • For the adult to emerge from the hard, nut–like cocoon, it must rasp through the tough exterior. The sound of this process has been likened to a rat gnawing

Additional images