Alice Springs Desert Park

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The Processionary Caterpillar (Ochrogaster lunifer), is also commonly known as the Itchy Grub and is best avoided, as their hairs can cause particular allergic reactions.

A fact of nature
At certain times of the year, visitors to the Alice Springs Desert Park may notice the processionary caterpillars. These caterpillars travel in long lines from head to tail, that contain up to several hundred individuals. They follow a silk trail left by the lead caterpillar and their large silky shelters can be seen hanging in mulga trees. The adult moth is commonly referred to as the bag-shelter moth (Ochrogaster lunifer), living only a few days, just long enough to breed and lay its eggs.

Images © Ausemade PL

For more information check out Fauna Index and Processionary Caterpillar. Additional images under Fauna Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

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  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Notodontidae
  • Subfamily: Thaumetopoeinae
  • Genus: Ochrogaster
  • Species: O. lunifer
  • Binomial name: Ochrogaster lunifer