Call for carronia – help us save the southern pink underwing moth

Header image: Phyllodes imperialis smithersi adult – Mark Graham

As part of a South East Queensland-wide rainforest conservation and threatened species recovery effort, we continue to focus on a very special threatened species called the Southern Pink Underwing moth (Phyllodes imperialis subsp. smithersi).

We are now in the midst of breeding season for the moth which means if you have the moth’s foodplant, the Carronia vine (Carronia multisepalea) on your property, under the right conditions, this special little larvae could be spotted! 

Phyllodes imperialis smithersi larvae – Todd Burrows

The moth needs very dark conditions and is found breeding in healthy subtropical rainforest from Kin Kin in South East Queensland south to Bellingen in NSW. Larvae have been found from late October to early April across known breeding sites.

Its larvae are solely dependent on the Carronia vine’s leaves for food. So if you have rainforest on your property, be on the lookout for Carronia vine (and the moth larvae!). If you spot the larvae, please avoid disturbing it in its habitat, and take only photos, appreciating its unique beauty with care. 

Once you know you have the vine, we would love for you to watch it over summer to see if it comes into flower and fruit. 

Image courtesy of Natura Pacific

Help us collect seed

If you find fruiting plants on your property and are happy to contribute to the broader conservation of the moth, we would like to come and collect some of the fruit to propagate in our nursery. 

Last year’s collections worked a treat, with fruiting occurring locally in around late February / March.

We currently have over 300 Carronia vine seedlings growing in the Barung nursery which will be available to be distributed to local landholders who have the right vegetation and conditions on their property in around March 2023. 

But we need to keep the ball rolling on keeping our eyes peeled for flowering vines, collecting fruit and growing the seed as part of an ongoing annual effort to save this species. With the support of the community, we can keep distributing the vine back into the landscape and give the Southern Pink Underwing Moth a fighting chance of survival. 

Please contact the Barung nursery if you spot the vine on 0429 943 152 or email  

If you are from other parts of South East Queensland and would like to be involved, Dr Mark Runkovski from Natura Pacific will be coordinating other seed collections across South East Queensland, Mark can be contacted at 

Download the flyer here.