Bug Watch: Cup moth
Photo - Linda Ross
Cup moths are so-called due to the cup-shaped cocoon they attach to the tree branches, or surrounding leaf litter, of eucalypts, brush box and pittosporum. They are also known to attack apples, apricots and cherries. Juvenile cup moth larvae skeletonise leaves.
There are a few different species, but all of the cup moth caterpillars have bright, showy markings in green with blue, red, yellow or brown. Clusters of retractable spines on their backs can cause a painful, but short-lived, rash if they rub against the skin.
Cup moths are difficult to control on mature trees, but if you have only recently planted the tree under attack, a spray with Dipel should eradicate them.