14 April 2009

Hypographa species - Geometridae

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Hypographa sp. - Geometridae

A large and diverse family, but the larvae (commonly called Loopers or Inchworms) have similar physical characteristic by having true feet at the front of the body and others (false feet) at the back. To move, they raise the center of their body thereby shifting the back feet to be immediately behind the front, then the front feet are moved forward in a long loop, which is repeated again and again.

Most of these moths are small to medium sized, but the moth above is one of the larger ones of around 2 cm (3/4") in length and for this reason I include a photograph of a large looper caterpillar (found on an Acacia nigricans) that was a good 6 cm (over 21/4") in length that may be the larvae of this species. However the most unusual feature of this particular moth is the way it holds it wings (at rest) in a vertical position, whereas most others in the Geometridae family hold their wings horizontally and quite close to the ground.

I have noticed most of these Hypographa moths during the month of August and the caterpillar was seen in April