Name source
Australian Faunal Directory
Data links

Life Science Identifier (LSID):

LSIDs are persistent, location-independent,resource identifiers for uniquely naming biologically significant resources including species names, concepts, occurrences, genes or proteins, or data objects that encode information about them. To put it simply, LSIDs are a way to identify and locate pieces of biological information on the web.

Data Links


For a JSON view of this data, click here


To use WMS services, copy and paste the following GetCapabilities URL into your OGC client (e.g. uDIG, ESRI ArcGIS) helena
For higher taxa, this will give you a hierarchical listing of layers for each taxon.


To download an RDF/XML document for the concepts and names click here
A JSON view of this information is here here
A html view of this information is here here

Further details

For more details on occurrence webservices, click here
For more details on names webservices, click here

Species presence
 Recorded In Australia
 Terrestrial Habitats

Occurrence records map

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  • representative image of taxa
    Source: Australian Insect Common Names

Online resources

Australian Moths Online
Images, Occurrence record
Images, Occurrence record
Citizen Science
Images, Occurrence record
Flickr EOL
Images, Occurrence record
Images of Flora and Fauna of 290 Leppitt Rd, Upper Beaconsfield
Images, Occurrence record
Images, Occurrence record
Images, Occurrence record

Species Lists

Museums Field Guide apps species profiles – terrestrial invertebrates
Brief description: Large orange-brown moth with large eyespots, orange antennae, hairy legs, broad abdomen, wingspan 13-17 cm.
Description : Large brown to orangish-brown moth with striking eyespots. Females larger and darker. Two moderately large eyespots on top of the fore wings, with a small transparent centre and reddish-brown perimeter, edged with an inner white crescent. Two similar but larger eyespots on top of the hind wings, with thick black perimeters, only revealed when the moth is disturbed. The male has short orange antennae with long branches. Legs are thick, orangish-brown and very hairy. Abdomen very broad. Wingspan is 13-17 cm. Mature caterpillars are large and stout and grow to around 8 cm in length. They are bright yellowish-green with pale pink lateral stripes, short white hairs, small blue mounds at the bases of long hairs, and crimson true legs. The fleshy green prolegs have a blue stripe at the base. Air-holes (spiracles) are orange.
Biology : Caterpillars feed on Eucalyptus over summer and autumn. The caterpillar pupates in a hard, brown, ovoid cocoon spun between small branches and leaves and incorporating fragments of bark. Moths emerge in spring to early summer, with males appearing first. The adult moths do not feed, relying on the fat stores deposited by the larvae. When disturbed adults incline the fore wings forward, revealing the eyespots on the hind wings while rhythmically raising and lowering their wings. This is probably a defence display.
Habitat: Widespread, restricted almost entirely to Eucalyptus.
Native status: Native to Australia.
Maximum size (cm): 17
Diet: Herbivore
Dangerous: Harmless.
Colours: brown, orange
Distribution: South-eastern and south-western Australia.
Habitat types: Terrestrial
Commercial species: False
When seen: Active at night.
Author credit: Catherine Byrne / Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery

Names and sources

Accepted name Source
Opodiphthera helena


Synonyms Source
Saturnia helena White, 1843 White, 1843 White, 1843
Published in: White, A. 1843. Descriptions of apparently new species and varieties of insects and other annulosa, principally from the collection in the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. Vol. 12 pp. 342-346
Antheraea intermedia T.P. Lucas, 1890 T.P. Lucas, 1890 T.P. Lucas, 1890
Antheraea banksii T.P. Lucas, 1891 T.P. Lucas, 1891 T.P. Lucas, 1891
Published in: Lucas, T.P. 1891. On Queensland and other Australian Lepidoptera with descriptions of new species. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. Ser. 2 Vol. 6 (2) pp. 277-306
Saturnia helenae Lucas, 1891
Published in: Lucas, T.P. 1891. On Queensland and other Australian Lepidoptera with descriptions of new species. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. Ser. 2 Vol. 6 (2) pp. 277-306
Antheraea pluto Sonthonnax, 1899 Sonthonnax, 1899 Sonthonnax, 1899
Published in: Sonthonnax, L. 1899. Description de nouvelles espèces de Saturnides. Appartenant à la collection de M.C. Oberthür. L'Échange, Rev. Linn. Vol. 16 pp. 5-7, 21-24, 30-32
Caligula banksi Seitz, 1928 Seitz, 1928 Seitz, 1928
Published in: Seitz, A. 1928. Saturniidae, Emperor-Moths. The Macrolepidoptera of the World. 10. Bombyces and Sphinges of the Indo-Australian Region. 2 vols pp. 909 pp., 100 pls. pp. Pp. 497-520, pls 53-56.

Common Names

Common name Source
Helena Emperor Moth
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Helena Moth
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Working classification

Opodiphthera helena  Recorded in Australia

Occurrence records

View list of all occurrence records for this taxon

Charts showing breakdown of occurrence records

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Name references found in the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Name references found in the TROVE - NLA