Mottled Cup Moth
Black Slug Cup Moth
Four-spotted Cup Moth
Fern Cup Moth
Wattle Cup Caterpillar  
Green Slug Caterpillar  
Sinister Moth
Fallen Bark Looper
Dry Leaf Looper Moth 
Bizarre Looper Moth I


Cup Moths - Family Limacodidae

This page contains pictures and information about Cup Moths and Caterpillars in family Limacodidae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Cup Moth Caterpillars, two different species 

The moths of this family are named 'Cup Moths' because the shape of their pupal cocoon look like a cup. Their cocoons usually have the wooden round shape, attached to a twig of the food plants. The cocoon look like the fruit of the gum tree on the leaves which they feed. The moths have scout and furry bodies with board wings. They are from small to medium size.

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Caterpillars in this family show their stinging hairs when disturbed. They usually have the bright warning colours. Their sting will give a painful nettle-like sting and burning feeling. They also known as Spitfires. They walk like a slug for they do not have prolegs and all their true legs are reduced. 

Mottled Cup Moth, Chinese Junk
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Doratifera vulnerans, caterpillar length 20mm, adult wing span 30mm
Mottled Cup Moth caterpillars are pale brown in colour, the bright warning colours white, pink and yellow in the middle. They show their stinging hairs when disturbed. The adult moth is bright brown in colour, with hairy thorax. More information and pictures please click here.
Black Slug Cup Moth
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Doratifera casta, body length 25mm, adult wing span 30mm
The caterpillar was found on blade grass in Macgregor Bushland during mod summer. Few days later, the caterpillar pupated on the side of the glass jar. The pupa was brown in colour. The second picture shows the moth came out from the pupa after two weeks. More information and pictures please click here.
Four-spotted Cup Moth
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Doratifera quadriguttata, body length 30mm, adult wing span 30mm
We found some Four-spotted Cup Moth caterpillars in Alexandra Hill during mid summer. They were feeding openly on young gum tree leaves during the day. We took a few of them home to watch their grow. We also took some branches of gum leaves as their food. More information and pictures are recorded here.
Wattle Cup Caterpillar
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Calcarifera ordinata, body length 30mm, 10mm 
We sometimes find this caterpillar on wattle leaves. The caterpillar is bright yellow with blue green and orange colours. There are a number of tubercles around its body. More information can be found in this page.
Fern Cup Moth
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? Hedraea quadridens , body length 30mm 
The Fern Cup Moth caterpillars are brightly green in colour, with dark green and white lines along their body. Their body are full of stinging hairy spikes, especially two pair at the front and two pair at the end. If contacted, the infected area will be pain and itching, accompany with burning feeling. We found this Fern Cup Moth caterpillar in Alexandra Hill along the creek feeding on the young bracken fern Pteridium esculentum during mid summer. More information and pictures please click here.
Green Slug Caterpillar
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Eloasa symphonistis, body length 10mm, 30mm
We found this caterpillars in Alexandra Hill bushland. In mid-summer, they are easily seen on Acacia leaves. They move very slowly. The Caterpillars are green in colour with dome shaped.  The larger caterpillars have a number of faint pale lines running along its body. They pupates in between leaves in a hard brown cocoon. The moth is brown in colour. Please also visit this page for more photos.

1. LIMACODIDAE in Australia - Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley, 2009.
2. Moths of Australia - I. F. B. Common, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p299.
3. A Guide to Australian Moths - Paul Zborowski, Ted Edwards, CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2007, p113.  

Up ] Mottled Cup Moth ] Black Slug Cup Moth ] Four-Spotted Cup Moth ] Fern Cup Moth ] Rainbow Cup caterpillar ] Green Slug Caterpillar ]

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Last updated: April 03, 2011.