Vegetable caterpillar

This purri moth caterpillar has been infected by a fungus. The fungus feeds on the caterpillar’s internal organs and will eventually kill it. Infected caterpillars are known as ‘vegetable caterpillars’, or ‘awheto’ by the Maori. The Maori burn them and use the ash as pigment for tattoos. Although this specimen has a 2006 accession number it was actually donated to RAMM in 1867.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Collection Area Region
Australia and New Zealand
Collector Excavator
Douglas, Lady Martha Elizabeth
Common Name
vegetable caterpillar
Simple Name
insect and fungus

View Full Details

Ophiocordyceps robertsii: vegetable caterpillar:  Aenetus virescens: HEPIALIDAE: puriri: ghost moth:  larva infected with fungus.