Pseudobunaea natalensis

NOTE: the name Pseudobunaea natalensis replaces some if not all Pseudobunaea irius. The name irius is invalid and had thus to be replaced. I'm not sure natalensis covers all the previously 'irius', given the confusion with other similar species




most of sub-Saharan Africa, the most widespread and common of the Pseudobunae. The moths and caterpillars illustrated here are from South Africa. 


in between 10 and 12 cm


in captivity more or less continuously, however the pupal stage can take a few months (especially during winter). 

Food plants:

Rosaceae (Rosa, Prunus, Crataegus, Pyracantha, Photinia, ...). Alternatively Quercus, Fagus, Corylus and relatives


An easy species. Keep warm (minimum room temperature or warmer), dry and clean. Rear in spacious, well ventilated plastic containers, especially during winter months when the central heating dries out the air.  Avoid condensation and do not give wet leaves. Ready to pupate within 7 to 8 weeks (depending on temperature and quality of the food, a bit faster during warmer months). Even though they brood continuously in captivity, the pupal stage can be several weeks or even 2 or 3 months. The moths need a few weeks of warmer and more humid weather to emerge (a night temperature of around 20°C seems to do the trick).