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Bufftip larvae450h0001

Buff-Tip Moth eggs

Buff-Tip Moth Andy

Buff-Tip Moths - Mating pair

Buff-Tip Moth (Phalera Bucephala)

Buff-Tip moth caterpillars resting together in clusters

As a young boy this was one of the first moths I ever reared in captivity from larvae collected in the wild. The eggs are laid on neat batches under the leaves of many different species of trees and from the time they hatch they stay together in a large cluster. The larvae can be found in the wild by the bare branches that they have stripped of leaves as they feed gregariously. I often find the larvae shed skins hanging on silk, knowing its this species from the V-shaped yellow mark on the empty shells of their large head. The larvae should not be disturbed too much all they will all drop to the ground. The full-grown larvae are quite large for the size of the moth. Only when they are nearly fully grown do they disperse before pupation into the ground. The moth can wrap its attractive wings around its body with its excellent camouflage, it resembles a birch twig or lichen. The moth has no proboscis so it does not feed. I have seen this moth resting on brick walls and tree trunks. I can never resist photographing this interesting moth when found in the wild, especially the larvae.