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Nymph (Nymphalidae)Charaxes sempronius

1 Tailed Emperor at Pambula, NSW

Charaxes sempronius at Pambula, NSW - 8 Mar 2019

Identification history

Nymph (Nymphalidae) Charaxes sempronius 16 Mar 2019 JackieMiles
Unidentified 14 Mar 2019 elizabethgleeson

Author's notes

Found on a small tree at Pambula Pre-school by one of the children

6 comments

KerriLee wrote:
   16 Mar 2019
wow, it's beautiful! I don't recognise it. If it's still there, I encourage you to collect it. Caterpillars are often quite easy to raise, and then you (and the children) can discover what kind of moth it turns into. Because I think it is most likely a moth.
   16 Mar 2019
It is one of the dragon-headed caterpillars (subfamily Charaxinae, Family Nymphalidae), and probably Charaxes sempronius the Tailed Emperor. See for example, http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/nymp/sempronius.html and https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/blogs/creatura-blog/2014/01/dragonhead-caterpillar/ . But please don't let that stop you from raising it with the kids to watch it pupate and emerge. That would be really cool!
KerriLee wrote:
   16 Mar 2019
Thanks Harvey
   16 Mar 2019
I checked the butterfly house website and CNM sighting: https://canberra.naturemapr.org/Community/Sightings/Details/3373218 and was convinced enough to confirm this, only the second record for the region on ALCW (1st was Kerri's of an adult). So bravo Libby. If you do want to raise it indoors and get a good photo of the pupa and the emerged adult, that would be an excellent thing, as we don't have a good local photo of an adult yet. Whatever it is currently eating would presumably be the best thing to feed it (looks like it might be Robinia pseudoacacia). My butterfly book says it feeds on leguminous plants like wattles, and various other trees and shrubs.
SuziBond wrote:
   18 Mar 2019
Great record! Yes, it is a Tailed Emperor. If you do collect the caterpillar to raise, make sure you include the silken pad it will have made for a day bed, I think this is what you can see in the photo here across several of the leaves. They usually rest on this during the day and then feed at night. Stuart Rae has written a series of wonderful posts on this species in Canberra you might find interesting, see http://stuartrae.blogspot.com/search/label/Tailed%20Emperor
   10 Apr 2019
Thanks for the wonderful comments, which I have shared with the children. We didn't collect it as we have been encouraging the children to look at the find and return it to the wild. But next time, we will take your advice and raise it. we do raise silk worms, so I suppose its fairly similar idea. Didn't realise it was so rare. Libby

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Nearby Sightings

Page 1 of 1 pages - image sightings only 4 0 4

SPARASSIDAE (Huntsman spider) at Pambula, NSW - 17 May 2019 STENOCOTINI (Stenocotine leafhopper) at Pambula, NSW - 17 May 2019 Coryphistes ruricola (Bark-mimicking Grasshopper) at Pambula, NSW - 11 Apr 2019 PHASMIDA (order) (Unidentified stick-insect) at Pambula, NSW - 7 Mar 2019
SPARASSIDAE (Huntsman spider) at Pambula, NSW - 17 May 2019
STENOCOTINI (Stenocotine leafhopper) at Pambula, NSW - 17 May 2019
Coryphistes ruricola (Bark-mimicking Grasshopper) at Pambula, NSW - 11 Apr 2019
PHASMIDA (order) (Unidentified stick-insect) at Pambula, NSW - 7 Mar 2019

Page 1 

Location

Location information

Species information

  • Not Sensitive
  • Local Native
  • Non-Invasive

Sighting information

  • 1 Abundance
  • 8 Mar 2019 2:36 PM Recorded on
  • elizabethgleeson Recorded by
  • Website Reported via
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