Story: Te aitanga pepeke – the insect world

Pūriri moth caterpillar

Pūriri moth caterpillar

This is the larva or caterpillar of the pūriri moth. Known as mokoroa, it gnaws into the trunk of the pūriri tree and lives on the sap, causing its eventual death. This gave rise to the saying, ‘A small mokoroa can fell a pūriri tree’ – meaning that we should not underestimate the impact of small things.

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How to cite this page:

Bradford Haami, 'Te aitanga pepeke – the insect world - Moths', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/12618/puriri-moth-caterpillar (accessed 20 September 2020)

Story by Bradford Haami, published 24 Sep 2007