Alice Springs Fauna •

Alice Springs MothsAedia leucomelas (Sweet Potato Leaf Worm) Australian Striped Hawk Moth (Hyles livornicoides) Bag-shelter Moth & Processionary Caterpillar Carpenter Moth (Endoxyla cinereus) Chasmina pulchra (White Beauty) Convolvulus Hawk-moth (Agrius convolvuli) Cossid Moth (Endoxyla leucomochla) Dasypodia selenophora (Southern Old Lady Moth) Endoxyla Moth (family Cossidae) Laced Day-Moth (Ipanica cornigera) Godart’s Hawkmoth (Agrius godarti) Helicoverpa punctigera (Australian Fruitworm) Leptocneria binotata Mocis alterna (Bean Looper Moth) Owlet Moth (Eudesmeola lawsoni) Owlet Moth (Ophiusa parcemacula) Sameodes cancellalis (Banded Pearl) Yeperenye / Yipirinya

Alice Springs is the home of the Yeperenye and the Australian Striped Hawk Moth (Hyles livornicoides). Yeperenye is the larvae stage of the Yeperenye caterpillar.

Yeperenye (and the alternative spelling of Yipirinya), in the local Arrernte aboriginal language, is also spelt as Ayepe-arenye — being pronounced Yep-ah-rin-ya.

Yeperenye / Yipirinya Caterpillar, Alice Springs, NT
Yeperenye / Yipirinya Caterpillar, Alice Springs, NT

The following image of the Australian Striped Hawk Moth (Hyles livornicoides) was photographed at the entrance of the Alice Springs Yeperenye Shopping Centre.

Australian Striped Hawk Moth (Hyles livornicoides)
Australian Striped Hawk Moth (Hyles livornicoides)

Whilst Hyles livornicoides can be found in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, it is here in Alice Springs that it is a sacred totemic ancestral being for the Arrernte people of Alice Springs, Central Australia.

It has been said that the caterpillar needs a particular kind of rain to emerge. They then spend all their time feeding on a sticky groundcover called tar-vine, after which they go underground where they cocoon to emerge as moths.

Following are some of the instar phases of the Hyles livornicoides caterpillar (feeding on Boerhavia coccinea).

More information in our Fauna > Insects > Moths > Australian Striped Hawk Moth.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Unranked: Ditrysia
  • Superfamily: Sphingoidea
  • Family: Sphingidae
  • Subfamily: Macroglossinae
  • Genus: Hyles
  • Species: Hyles livornicoides

Footnote & References

  1. Australian Striped Hawk Moth (Hyles livornicoides), iNaturalistAU, https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/taxa/341800-Hyles-livornicoides

Alice Springs MothsAedia leucomelas (Sweet Potato Leaf Worm) Australian Striped Hawk Moth (Hyles livornicoides) Bag-shelter Moth & Processionary Caterpillar Carpenter Moth (Endoxyla cinereus) Chasmina pulchra (White Beauty) Convolvulus Hawk-moth (Agrius convolvuli) Cossid Moth (Endoxyla leucomochla) Dasypodia selenophora (Southern Old Lady Moth) Endoxyla Moth (family Cossidae) Laced Day-Moth (Ipanica cornigera) Godart’s Hawkmoth (Agrius godarti) Helicoverpa punctigera (Australian Fruitworm) Leptocneria binotata Mocis alterna (Bean Looper Moth) Owlet Moth (Eudesmeola lawsoni) Owlet Moth (Ophiusa parcemacula) Sameodes cancellalis (Banded Pearl) Yeperenye / Yipirinya

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