Story: Southern beech forest

Proteodes carnifex

Proteodes carnifex

Leaf-eating caterpillars of the native moth Proteodes carnifex can defoliate hectares of mountain beech forest. Healthy trees usually recover, but weak trees may die. Females lay about 300 eggs on the underside of mountain beech leaves. The little caterpillars that hatch out of the eggs feed on leaves through winter, spring and early summer. They make their cocoons in midsummer and emerge as moths, ready to mate, in February.

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How to cite this page:

Joanna Orwin, 'Southern beech forest - Ecology', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 January 2022)

Story by Joanna Orwin, published 24 Sep 2007