Magpie Moth


Common name : Magpie moth

Scientific name : Nyctemera annulata

Family : Erebidae

Native to : New Zealand

Interesting fact : The larva/caterpillar of the magpie moth is known as the ‘woolly bear’ caterpillar on account of its appearance.

With a wingspan of 35-45 mm, the magpie moth is diurnal, as a result of which it is often mistaken for a butterfly. The magpie moth is found across New Zealand, wherever the Senecio plant is found; the most common in this species of plants is the ‘ragwort’. It has the ability to withstand intense cold. Its diet is comprised of the plants in the Senecio species. The female lays eggs on the underside of the same plant. These eggs hatch after a week and feed primarily on the host plant.

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