- This page contains pictures and information about moths and
caterpillars in family Notodontidae that we found in
the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
A Notodontid male moth
- Noctuoidea is the second largest superfamily in the Australian Lepidoptera
(Gelechioidea is the
largest). It includes the Notodontidae, Lymantriidae, Arctiidae,
and a few more families. Family Notodontidae is discussed in this page.
adult moths in family Notodontidae are from medium to large size, with stout body.
The head, thorax and legs are often covered with long hair. The fore wings
are usually elongated-triangular form. The hind wings are usually
no-patterned, round and much shorter
than the fore wings. They rest their fore wings folded roof-wise above the
abdomen, with fore wings cover entirely the hind wings. They are active at night.
- Hairy head and thorax
Caterpillars of Notodontinae
are two subfamilies in Notodontidae, the NOTODONTINAE and the THAUMETOPOEINAE.
The adult moths are similar in the two subfamilies but the eggs and
caterpillars are very different. Most
caterpillars in this family feed on leaves of woody shrubs and tress.
Subfamily NOTODONTINAE -
Caterpillars of Notodontinae will
raise their head and/or tail when disturbed, some will display the
eye-spots. Some of them are hairy but most are smooth with few spines.
They are usually colourful and actively feeding during the day. Most of
them feed on leaves. The adult moths are similar
to the subfamily Thaumetopoeinae below but the eggs and caterpillars are very
Subfamily THAUMETOPOEINAE -
Bag-shelter Moths, Processionary
- Some reference put this subfamily as Family Thaumetopoeidae.
Caterpillars in this subfamily have very dense hairs. They live together
in shelter of silk, i.e. their common name Bag-shelter Moth caterpillar.
They feed in group and sometime form processionary group to move to other
locations, i.e., their another common name Processionary
Caterpillars. The adult moths are similar
to the subfamily Notodontinae above but the eggs and caterpillars are very
- 1. NOTODONTIDAE of Australia
- Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley, 2011.
- 2. Moths
of Australia - I. F. B. Common, Melbourne University Press,
- 3. Moths
of Australia - Bernard D'Abrera, Lansdowne Press, Melbourne, 1974,
- 4. A
Guide to Australian Moths - Paul Zborowski, Ted Edwards, CSIRO
PUBLISHING, 2007, p173.
- 5. Northern
Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
- 6. Moths of Victoria: part two, Tiger moths and allies Noctuoidea (A) - Peter Marriott, Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009.
[ Notodontinae ] [ Thaumetopoeinae ]
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