Hitchhiker – keep him or ditch him?

I bought a Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Springtime’ online recently, from Nambour, Queensland.  This morning I noticed that a few leaves on it were gnawed off and on closer examination, I saw a creature that I didn’t invite or recognise.


No one I asked so far can identify it.  Should I squash him or keep him as a pet?


Postscript:  I believe Sunshine has identified him (see comment below).  Since my neighbour’s gum tree is out of reach for both of us, I decided to keep him in my glass case  sans Hawthorn.  I hope he enjoys a change of diet.



Gastrinode’s dream home: so near and yet so far.

Update :  this morning I find him happily munching sone leaves that I pulled off three different trees.  Looks like he is not all that fussy.


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15 Responses to Hitchhiker – keep him or ditch him?

  1. 123degrees says:

    Looks like a stick insect if you take it to the Australian museum on college St thy have an insect ID department that may be able to help

    Liked by 1 person

  2. arlingwoman says:

    I’ve never seen anything like this thing, Mary. Glad you identified it and that it will be a moth. Nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was a child in London, our street was lined with lime trees on which much smaller loopers fed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, just looked him up. He’s a moth, not a butterfly, and wonderfully camouflaged. He may munch you out of most of your leaves before he decides to cocoon, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Perhaps he’ll become a butterfly with proper tending. He’s a little prehistoric looking now…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sunshine Jansen says:

    The compulsive would-be reference librarian in me couldn’t resist digging for this one. :) I think it’s a kind of looper caterpillar — Gastrinodes bitaeniaria — and I gather they favor eucalyptus, but apparently rhaphiolepis will do in a pinch. Not sure what havoc he might wreak elsewhere in your orchard…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. robert okaji says:

    Mail him to Queensland? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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