Tiger Moths 
Magpie Moth
Tiger Moth Caterpillar 
Heliotrope Moth
Crotalaria Moth 
Donovan's Amsacta
Bird-dropping Lichen Moth I
Lydia Lichen Moth
Marbled Halone
Bird-dropping Lichen Moth II
Lichen-eating Caterpillar 
Little White Lichen Moth
Common Wasp Moth
Hourglass Wasp Moth
Orange Headed Wasp Moth
Orange Shoulder Wasp Moth
White Antenna Wasp Moth
Black Thorax Wasp Moth 
Two-spots Tiger Moth
Yellow Tiger Moth
Grey Tiger Moth 
Unknown Tiger Moth Caterpillars


Magpie Moth - Nyctemera secundiana

Family Arctiidae 

This page contains pictures and information about Magpie Moths that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Body length 25mm
Magpie Moths are sometimes seen in garden and roadside during daytime and also at night. Their forewings are dark brown with white patterned band across. Their abdomens have black and yellow rings, the typical Tiger Moths warning colour pattern. This moth is common in Brisbane.
wpe6.jpg (26168 bytes)  DSC_2085.jpg (309731 bytes)
Most moths in subfamily Arctiinae have the proboscis greatly reduced and incapable of feeding. But the proboscis is well developed in this species. The photos above shows the moth is feeding on flower.
Male and female are look similar except their antenna. Their caterpillars are hairy with orange bands. They feed on  a garden weed called Thickhead Cassocephalum crepidiodes
Magpie Moths are active during the day time although we sometimes find this moth attacked by window light. The above second picture was taken outside our kitchen in a winter night.
wpe1.jpg (29121 bytes) wpe6.jpg (28495 bytes) DSCN2849.jpg (113240 bytes) 
The moth in the first photo with right wing a bit defected, however, it flied away quickly without any problem.
DSC_2482.jpg (345780 bytes) DSC_2484.jpg (262088 bytes) DSC_2481.jpg (265446 bytes)
Caterpillar fully grown 30mm 
Their Caterpillars have medium long hairs, with orange and dark bands along the body. There are a pair of horn-shaped black hairs on the head. They pupate under leaf of hostplant. 
On Apr 2011 we found this small group of  Magpie Moth caterpillars feeding on their host plant Fireweed (Crassocephalum crepidioides). There were more than five fully grown caterpillars on a small plant. Most leaves of the plant were eaten and some caterpillars started feeding on the stems.


Fireweed is also known as Thickhead. They are used as medical herb, however, the plant contains alkaloid toxins. It is believed that this plant is native of tropical Africa. 
DSC_2545.jpg (304721 bytes) DSC_2553.jpg (245061 bytes) DSC_2552.jpg (304535 bytes)
Crassocephalum crepidioides, Asteraceae 

1. Nyctemera secundiana -  Australian Caterpillars by Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley, 2011.
2. A Guide to Australian Moths - Paul Zborowski, Ted Edwards, CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2007, p183. 
3. Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth.) S.Moore - G. J. Harden, NEW SOUTH WALES FLORA ONLINE, 2011. 
4. A Guide to Australian Moths - Paul Zborowski, Ted Edwards, CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2007, p183.

Up ] [ Magpie Moth ] Tiger Moth Caterpillar ] Heliotrope Moth ] Crotalaria Moth ] Donovan's Amsacta ]

Back to Top


See us in Home page. Download large pictures in Wallpaper web page. Give us comments in Guest Book, or send email. A great way to support us is to buy the Brisbane Insects and Spiders CD.  
Last updated: November 09, 2011.