For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Friday, December 16, 2011

Moth and cocoon - Bristly Eggar (Gastroplakaeis meridionalis)

This has an interesting story……

While on one of my walks I noticed a cocoon on one of the branches of a bush. It was quite large, about 2.5cm (1 inch) if not more.

This must have been made by a very hairy caterpillar as you can see the hairs are stick into it.

I very carefully cut the branch and took it home with me hoping it would breed out and just as carefully placed it in the same position in one of my tanks as what I had found it.

After about 10 days had passed, I was beginning to think that whatever was in it had long since died but decided to leave it where it was.

After a another week, I came out one morning to find this huge moth at the bottom of the tank and many of the surfaces covered with eggs but unfortunately, the moth had died.

As she had not been out of the tank, I knew the eggs were not fertile and after another month, saw that they were shriveling up and going black. What a lovely moth it was though.
Once again John has come to my rescue and identified this moth for me as a Bristly eggar (Gastroplakaeis meridionalis) but the mystery is that they are only supposed to occur much further south from here. How I wish I could find someone to sponsor me in order to do this research full time!!

Thank you John!! It is greatly appreciated.

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