Field of Science

Limacodidae

Caterpillar of mottled cup moth Doratifera vulnerans, photographed by Chris Greenaway.


Belongs within: Apoditrysia.

The Limacodidae are a widespread family of moths with reduced proboscids, with most species found in the tropics. Larvae of a number of species bear toxic needle-like setae, giving them the name of 'nettle caterpillars' (Grimaldi & Engel 2005).

Characters (from Nielsen & Common 1991): Small to medium sized; head with rather smooth vestiture of piliform or lamellar scales; ocelli and chaetosemata absent; antenna bipectinate in male, at least in basal half, dentate or filiform in female; proboscis and maxillary palps minute or absent; labial palps short, 2- or 3-segmented; epiphysis absent; spurs 0-2-2 or 0-2-4, rarely absent; femora and tibiae often woolly; fore wing broad triangular, apex rounded, chorda absent, M present in cell, R3, R4 and R5 stalked, CuP present; hind wing with three frenular bristles in female, M present in cell, Sc+R1 fused with Rs near base or Sc is connected to Rs by R1, CuP present; female abdomen with lateral projections from segment 8. Eggs scale-like, in overlapping batches or singly. Larva heteromorphic; 1st instar larva broad and flattened, with four spines on each segment; later instar larvae slug-like, with head retracted, antennae long, thoracic legs reduced, prolegs absent, sometimes with ventral suckers on abdominal segments 1-7, setae often modified, with stinging hairs or reduced; feed exposed. Pupa in oval or pyriform cocoon, with circular, lid-like opening at one end.

<==Limacodidae [Cochlidiidae, Eucleidae]
    |--Susica humeralis P27
    |--Euclea paenulata GE05, P27
    |--Adoneta spinuloides P27
    |--Monoleuca semifascia P27
    |--Prolimacodes scapha P27
    |--Lithacodes fasciola P27
    |--Cochlidion biguttata P27
    |--Parasa lepida MHG04
    |--Pseudanapaea denotata ZS10
    |--Apoda Haworth 1809 [=Cochlidium Hübner 1822, Limacodes Berthold in Latreille 1827] P08
    |    `--*A. limacodes (Hufnagel 1766) [=*Cochlidium limacodes, *Limacodes limacodes] P08
    |--Doratifera B88
    |    |--D. oxlei P27
    |    `--D. vulnerans [=D. longerans (l. c.)] B88
    `--Baria Karsch 1896 O08
         |--*B. elsa (Druce 1888) [=Natada elsa] O08
         `--B. transversata Karsch 1899 O08

*Type species of generic name indicated

REFERENCES

[B88] Bouček, Z. 1988. Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera): A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[MHG04] Maynard, G. V., J. G. Hamilton & J. F. Grimshaw. 2004. Quarantine—phytosanitary, sanitary and incursion management: an Australian entomological perspective. Australian Journal of Entomology 43 (3): 318-328.

Nielsen, E. S., & I. F. B. Common. 1991. Lepidoptera. In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia vol. 2, pp. 817-915. Melbourne University Press.

[O08] Özdikmen, H. 2008. Nomenclatural changes for some preoccupied harvestman genus group names (Arachnida: Opiliones). Turkish Journal of Arachnology 1 (1): 37-43.

[P08] Paclt, J. 2008. On the triple usage of the family name Apodidae in zoology (Aves; Crustacea; Insecta). Senckenbergiana Biologica 88 (1): 49-52.

[P27] Philpott, A. 1927. The maxillae in the Lepidoptera. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 721-746.

[ZS10] Zborowski, P. & R. Storey. 2010. A Field Guide to Insects in Australia. Reed New Holland: Sydney.

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