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


Tiger Moths - Family Arctiidae

This page contains pictures and information about Tiger Moths that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Tiger Moths are small to medium in size.  They usually have bright warning colour patterns, which are spotted in red, orange, black or white. Their stout abdomen usually striped with black and yellow-red colour. The stripes give rise to the name "Tiger Moths". They are either distasteful or to predator or are mimic of distasteful species. Some even produce foul chemical. 
Most Tiger Moths fly at night but some are day-fliers. They do not fly very fast.
Most Caterpillars of the Arctiidae are covered in dense dark hairs, which gives them the name "Woolly Bears". The hairs can cause irritation in sensitive skin. The caterpillars are small to medium size. The caterpillars usually active during the daytime. If disturbed, they will roll into a tight spiral. 
Most Arctiidae caterpillars feed on herbaceous plants and easy to rear. Some are feed on mosses and algae, which they need more moisture environment. They pupate in a loosen silken cocoon made of their hairs and other plants materials.
There are three subfamilies in Australia, the Arctiinae, Lithosiinae and Ctenuchinae.

wpe6.jpg (28495 bytes)Subfamily ARCTIINAE - Tiger Moths

Arctiinae Moths are active during the day. They often have very variable colour and pattern on wings. Most of them have colour bands on abdomen. They are medium to large in size with fairly broad wings. Arctiinae Caterpillars are medium to large size, with dense hairs, usually feed on low-growing herbaceous plants.

DSCN9091.JPG (65317 bytes)Subfamily LITHOSIINAE - Lichen Moths

Lichen Moth adults are small to medium size, usually with slender body and narrow wings. They do not have the segmental pattern on abdomen. When rest, some of those moths wrap its forewings around its abdomen. Lichen Moth caterpillars usually have less dense hair than the caterpillars in Arctiinae. They feed on lichens, algae or moss.

wpe6.jpg (32214 bytes)Subfamily CTENUCHINAE - Wasp Moths

Adults in Ctenuchinae are small to medium in size. Their abdomen are usually banded with black and orange colours. This is the warning colours of they are poisonous or distasteful if eaten. They are active during the day. The caterpillars in Ctenuchinae are usually covered with uniform dark hairs. Most of them are active during the day. They pupate in cocoon made of silk and their hairs.

1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p908.  
2. ARCTIIDAE - Some Australian Moths from South-East Queensland, Ian McMillan, 2006.
3. Moths of Australia - I. F. B. Common, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p430.  
4. Moths of Victoria: part two, Tiger moths and allies Noctuoidea (A) - Peter Marriott, Entomological Society of Victoria, 2009. 


Up ] [ Family Arctiidae ] Family Aganaidae ] Unknown Tiger Moth Caterpillars ]

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Last updated: November 17, 2011.