11 Nov 2016

Critter of the Week: Fred the Thread

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:35 pm on 11 November 2016

Today Nicola Toki, DoC's endangered species ambassador, presents a mystery moth that grows from what is thought to be the world's skinniest caterpillar. 

Landcare Research scientist Dr Corinne Watts first discovered a skinny, bright orange caterpillar in 2003, and nicknamed it "Fred the Thread".  Initially, the identity of the tunnelling creature was puzzling. However, "Fred" turned out to be the caterpillar of a previously unknown genus of moth, which now has a scientific name; Houdinia flexilissima