Orange Palmdart

Cephrenes augiades

Identification: Wingspan 40 mm. Wings black with orange markings. Female has smaller orange markings and is sometimes a uniform dark brown.

Habitat and Range: Rainforest, suburban gardens and nurseries with palms. Coastal eastern Qld and NSW, isolated populations elsewhere in major towns and cities. Also eastern Indonesia and New Guinea to Solomon Is.

Notes: Rests in the sun on the upper side of leaves, then darts off at great speed. Eggs are laid on palms. The pale green caterpillars have striking banded heads. They sew adjacent leaflets together to form retreats from which they feed. The larvae pupate inside the same shelter, producing a whitish, floury deposit.

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