Owl Moths
Bird-dropping Moth 
Green Blotched Moth
Cluster Caterpillar
Lawn Armyworm
Lily Caterpillar
Affinis Dayflying Moth
Crow Moth  
Joseph's Coat Moth  


Armyworm Moths, Cutworm Moths - Subfamily ACRONICTINAE

Family Noctuidae

This page contains pictures and information about moths and caterpillars in subfamily ACRONICTINAE that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Caterpillar length  40mm
Caterpillars in this two subfamilies are called Cutworms, some are called Armyworms. They live and pupate in soil surface. They bite off young plants at ground level and pull them into their burrow. Armyworms eat their way across like an army on the march.
The adults of this two subfamilies,  ACRONICTINAE and AMPHIPYRINAE, cannot not be readily separated from each other. Sometimes this two subfamilies are treated as one subfamily. They usually have stout body.

Green Blotched Moth
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Cosmodes elegans, body length 20mm
We found quit a number of them in our backyard during early summer, but seldom see them in other season. This moths is easy to be identified. They are brown in colour with green patterns edged with white on their wings. When at rest on plants, they are not easily be noticed. The caterpillar is hairless and green in colour. Check this page for more information.

Cluster Caterpillar
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Spodoptera litura, moth body length 20mm 
This moth is grey to brown in colours with complex patterns on forewings. They hide on plants near the ground during the day. Their Eggs are laid under an irregular fluffy mass of fawn hairs. 1st picture shows the newly hatched caterpillars still under the protection of those irregular fluffy mass. Please visit this page for more information.
Lawn Armyworm
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Spodoptera mauritia, body length 20mm
The adult moth is brown in colour with brown pattern on the forewings. They are common in Brisbane bush and garden. The moth is preyed by Bird-dropping Spiders. Their eggs were laid on the painted wall of a house, as a hairy irregular mass. The caterpillars are green when young and become brown in colour with two rows of black dots on  the back. There are more information and pictures in this page.
Lily Caterpillar Moth
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Spodoptera picta, body length 20mm
The caterpillars are known as Lily Caterpillar. They feed on garden plant Spider Lily Hymenocallis littoralis. The moth has a wingspan of about 40mm, brown in colour with a pattern on the fore wings. The hind wings are silvery white. Click here for more information and pictures.

1. Moths of Australia - I. F. B. Common, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p460.
2. ACRONICTINAE in Australia Caterpillars of Australian, by Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley, 2011.


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Last updated: January 28, 2012.