Friday, 23 July 2010


Grace at Windthread found a caterpillar in her garden that is a native here. It shouldn't be living on the other side of the Pacific ocean and in the opposite hemisphere. Here's one in my garden last year. How did its cousin get over to Grace's place?

I've always loved these little creatures who travel around in their camouflaged sleeping bags. I don't know if these Australian insects are desirable residents overseas, however, and I assume they hitchiked over to the USA with the eucalypts.

Here are some pics from the wonderful book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie written in Sydney in the 1920s and an Australian childhood staple ever since.
It struck me, looking at Alicia's summer reading list on Posie gets Cozy, that while Australians read the great books from the UK and the USA, very few people outside Australia know about the fantastic, marvellous books that get written and read here. Pity really.

If you watch the beastie for a while, Grace, you may see it poke out it's head and front legs and haul itself off to a gum tree - or a rose bush. They seem to like rose bushes as much as the old gum tree now. They are completely harmless to people. Don't know about rose bushes.

I took the pictures from my very old childhood copy of  The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, so the pages are torn and faded. I hope they worked out well enough.


deanna7trees said...

thanks for the info, Elizabeth. I first heard about it from Grace. Are those twigs around the outside of the chrysalis?

Suzanna said...

The illustrations are so beautiful...I am very curious about the the creatures hang little twigs on them?? We have lots of eucalyptus trees here (California)...I'm going to keep a lookout for these sleeping creatures.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Deanna and Grace, yes they attach the twigs - and the illustration from the children's book is very accurate about the most common patterns of twigs you can find. I don't know if each little 'twig style' is particular to a subspecies or if it just depends on where they find themselves when they are constructing their home.

Elizabeth said...

Suzanna, I think it is a Saunders case moth, and it spends quite a while living in its travelling home.