Nature conservation

Threatened species

Southern Pink Underwing Moth - profile

Indicative distribution

   Loading map...
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Phyllodes imperialis southern subspecies
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Gazetted date: 05 Dec 2003
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


The Southern Pink Underwing Moth Phyllodes imperialis smithersi is named for the brilliant pink patches on its dark hindwing (which also have eight white spots on the trailing edge). The grey/brown forewings are approximately 6cm long with white spots on the underside. When at rest the moth resembles a dead leaf. Young caterpillars are dull brown. However, as they mature they develop a dramatic 'head' display when alarmed: two large 'eye' spots and a double row of white 'teeth'. The pupal stage is a bronze-coloured 5cm case consisting of silk and leaves surrounded by metallic brown bands.


The Southern Pink Underwing Moth is distributed from Nambour in south-eastern Queensland to Bellingen in northern NSW. In NSW it is known to occur in a small number of localities from the QLD border to Wardell, and there is a disjunct population in the Bellingen area.

Habitat and ecology

  • The Southern Pink Underwing Moth is found in subtropical rainforest below about 600 m elevation.
  • Potential breeding habitat is restricted to areas where the caterpillar's food plant, a native rainforest vine, Carronia multisepalea, occurs in subtropical rainforest.
  • Adult Southern Pink Underwing Moths require the low light conditions of the rainforest in order to breed.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
NSW North CoastCoffs Coast and Escarpment Known None
South Eastern QueenslandBurringbar-Conondale Ranges Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Lowlands Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandScenic Rim Known None
South Eastern QueenslandSunshine Coast-Gold Coast Lowlands Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandWoodenbong Predicted None