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NOTE: I believe the species reported to me here is actually Pachyna subfascia!
The awesome and impressive female of Pallastica mesoleuca – a giant among Lasiocampidae.
The credit for this rearing goes to my friend Marcel van Bijnen, who kindly provided me these images. When he was traveling through Uganda, he encountered an impressive caterpillar, one that turned out to be of the Lasiocampidae moth Pallastica mesoleuca.
The caterpillar of Pallastica mesoleuca, an impressive beast covered with spines.
Not much at all is known about the biology of this moth. My friend Marcel from the Netherlands has encountered and reared this moth in the wild. This small article illustrates the larva, cocoon and adult female that hatched from it.
The pupa and cocoon of Pallastica mesaleuca, including a leaf of the host plant, Terminalia cattapa
The female seems to have a wingspan around 140mm, making them one of the larger Lasiocampidae out there. The larva has tufts on its side that make it blend together with the surface it is resting on, much in a Catocala-like fashion. The back contains little to no hair, but does have the typical patches of sharp spines that many Lasiocampidae have.
The live female of Pallastica mesoleuca
The larva spinning a thick cocoon inside the container
The host plants is identified as Terminalia cattapa, also known as “Indian almond”. This is probably one of the very few known confirmations of the natural host plant.
The adult moth of Pallastica mesoleuca prepared for collection
Caterpillarzilla – what a beast it is!
Pallastica mesoleuca on Marcel’s hand
Pallastica mesoleuca pretending to be dead
Thanks for the submission of Marcel van Bijnen.
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