BanksiaNotodontid Moth
Wattle Notodontid Moth
Gum Notodontid Moth
BrownRingEpicoma Moth
Yellow SpotEpicoma Moth
CommonEpicoma Moth
White Epicoma Moth
Sparshalli Moth 
Brown Tussock Moth
Painted Pine Moth
White Tussock Moth
Yellow Tussock Moth 
Tiger Moths  
Tropical Tiger Moths 
Noctuid Moths 


Tussock Moths - Family Lymantriidae

This page contains pictures and information about Tussock Caterpillars and Moths that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Tussock Moth Caterpillar 
The LYMANTRIIDAE Caterpillars are usually hairy, often with four distinct tussocks of hair on their back make them look like a toothbrush. The hair can cause irritation if contact. They usually found feeding on leaves during the day. The caterpillars pupate in a woven cocoon under bark or foliage. The pupa usually covered with larval hairs as well. These hairs can cause problems if touched, or if they are released to blow about. 
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Wingless female, body length 20mm                      Winged male with typical Tussock Moth antenna
Moths in this family are small to medium size with hairy body. They are short lived, mouth parts are poorly developed and do not feed at all. They held their board wings like roots over their abdomen at rest. Some species adults rest with wings flattened forming a triangle and the fore legs extended forward. The male moth antenna broadly pectinate and curved. They usually active at night. In some species the females are wingless.   

Brown Tussock Moth
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Olene mendosa, caterpillar length 40mm, moth wingspan 30mm
The Brown Tussock Moth caterpillar is hairy, with four tussocks of hair on its back make it look like a toothbrush. We found this Brown Tussock Moth caterpillar in early spring. We took it home to see how it would look like when it became a moth. We found the caterpillar on a plants. We brought along with some leaves as its food. To see the details please click on here
Painted Pine Moth, White spotted Tussock Moth
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Orgyia australis, Caterpillar length 30mm, male moth wingspan 25mm
We found this Painted Pine Moth Caterpillar feeding on Camellia flower on late Spring. They also feed on Wattle leaf. Some of their females are wingless. More information please click here.
White Tussock Moth
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Euproctis melanosoma, caterpillar length 20mm                                         Adult wingspan 20mm
The caterpillar was found on bauhinia leaf in a front yard in Yeerongpilly during mid summer. It was black in colour with black and orange hairs. There are a red dot and some white hairs on its thorax. Two days later it pupate between leaves. About two weeks later a little white hairy moth came out from the pupa. More information and pictures please click here.
Yellow Tussock Moth
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Euproctis lutea, body length 25mm
We often see this moth resting on leaf in our backyard. The moth is hairy and bright yellow in colour with white wavy lines on wings. The hairy caterpillar is black with a white line along the back of the abdomen. There is also a white spot on its thorax. Check this page for details.

Unidentified Tussock Caterpillars

Followings are Tussock caterpillars that yet to be identified. Please advise if you known what are they.
Unknown Black Tussock Moth Caterpillar 1
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?sp.,  length 20mm
We found this black Tussock Moths caterpillar on a Citrus tree on Nov 2002 in Botanic Garden. We tried to raise it but did not success. 
Unknown Tussock Moth Caterpillar 2
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?sp.,  length 30mm
Unknown Tussock Moth Caterpillar 3 on Banksia
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?sp.,  length 30mm
The caterpillar was found hiding on the bottom side of a Banksia leaf. It was in Karawatha Forest in mid summer.
Unknown Tussock Moth Caterpillar 4
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?sp.,  length 30mm
We found this caterpillar on a garden plant of a front yard. We collected the caterpillar and some leaves as its food. A few days later it pupated on the food plant leaves. However, the moth never came out . . . . . . .
Unknown Tussock Moth Caterpillar 5 found on Acacia flower
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?sp.,  length 30mm
Pictures taken in Karawatha Forest on Jul 2007.
Unknown Tussock Moth Caterpillar 6 found on gum tree trunk
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Nov 2007,  Karawatha Forest
Unknown Tussock Moth Caterpillar 7 found on gum tree trunk
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Nov 2008,  Karawatha Forest
Unknown Tussock Moth Caterpillar 8
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Mar 2008, Mt Coot-tha 

1. LYMANTRIIDAE of Australia - Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley, 2008. 
2. Moths of Australia - I. F. B. Common, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p425.
3. Moths of Australia - Bernard D'Abrera, Lansdowne Press, Melbourne, 1974, p71.
4. A Guide to Australian Moths - Paul Zborowski, Ted Edwards, CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2007, p178. 


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Last updated: April 08, 2009.