Science has yet to discover who the caterpillars are of 95% of Australian moths. Matching adults to their larvae is fundamental to understanding moths and their conservation. Help us match caterpillars to moths in six easy steps. In celebration of National Moth Weeks 10th year, be a MOTH MATCHMAKER and expand moth science!
National Moth Week | July 17-25, 2021
Find and photograph a caterpillar. Take clear close-up photos from above, the side and both ends. Also photo the plant or lichen the caterpillar is on.
Place a few centimeters of dry soil, a diagonal stick and dead and live leaves from the food plant the caterpillar is on into a glass jar. Collect your caterpillar and place in a jar, with fabric over the top, held in place by a rubber band.
Care for your caterpillar. It may need feeding with leaves from the foodplant until it forms a cocoon. Dipping new leaves in water can increase humidity if your caterpillar is looking dried out. Cocoons may be built attached to the stick or be in the soil.
Photograph the emerged moth. Clear close-ups of head, top, side and rear are required.
Add your moth photographs to Canberra Naturemapr, include the sighting number from step 2 in the public comment box. You will receive an email from a moth expert telling you the identity of the moth you have matched with a caterpillar
For Further guidance see the ‘Caterpillar Collect and Care – Detailed Guide‘