Garden tiger Arctia caja, photographed by Shane Farrell.

Belongs within: Macrolepidoptera.
Contains: Sorocostia, Hydrusa, Spilosoma.

The Arctiidae, including tiger moths and related species, are a diverse group of often aposematically coloured moths. Most arctiids possess a tymbal organ on the thorax that produces ultrasonic clicks; these clicks are thought to disrupt bat echolocation. Members of the subfamily Ctenuchinae have long narrow forewings and a boldly ringed abdomen, and mimic wasps in their appearance (Nielsen & Common 1991).

Characters (from Nielsen & Common 1991): Small to medium sized; head with short, lamellar scales; ocelli present or absent; antennae usually bipectinate or ciliate in male, simple in female; proboscis small or absent; maxillary palps tiny, 1-segmented; labial palps short, rarely long; epiphysis present, spurs 0-2-4 or 0-2-2; fore wing often without areole, Sc usually separate, R2 to R5 stalked, M2 arising much nearer to M3 than to M1, or absent, 1A+2A simple or with small fork; hind wing with Sc+R1 sometimes swollen at base, usually fused with Rs to near middle of discal cell, then divergent, M2 arising nearer to M3 than to M1; often with dorsal prothoracic defensive glands; tympanal organs with tympanic membranes directed obliquely backwards; metathorax often with lateral tymbal organ; abdomen with counter-tympanal hood, if present, pre-spiracular; ovipositor lobes with pair of glands, some females with terminal tuft of deciduous, long scales. Egg upright, usually hemispherical with raised network on surface, usually laid in cluster. Larva usually with dense secondary setae, in tufts, from verrucae, meso- and metathorax with one or two verrucae above spiracle; crochets uniordinal, abruptly shorter at end of each mesoseries; external feeders on herbaceous plants, or on lichens or dead leaves. Pupa glabrous, cremaster weak or absent; in flimsy cocoon of felted larval hairs with little silk.

    |--Pericopinae NC91
    |--Ctenuchinae [Amatidae, Amatinae, Ctenuchidae, Euchromiinae, Syntomidae, Syntominae] NC91
    |    |--Mallodeta Butler 1876 NO08
    |    |--Syntomis atereus WM66
    |    |--Eressa NC91
    |    |--Ceryx NC91
    |    |--Hydrusa M86b
    |    |--Agaphthora Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |    |    |--A. melanora Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |    |    `--A. sphenodes Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |    |--Choromeles Meyrick 1886 [incl. Trianeura (preoc.)] M86b
    |    |    |--C. geographica Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |    |    `--C. strepsimeris Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |    |--Amata MC13
    |    |    |--A. aperta MC13
    |    |    |--A. marella ZS10
    |    |    |--A. phegea (Linnaeus 1758) JP05
    |    |    `--A. trigonophora NC91
    |    `--Euchromia NC91
    |         |--E. amoena DS73
    |         |--E. creusa P27
    |         |--E. formosa DS73
    |         |--E. irus [=Sphinx irus, Glaucopis irius; incl. G. ganymede] M86b
    |         `--E. polymena (Linnaeus 1758) M86b, L58 [=Sphinx polymena M86b]
    |--Arctiinae [Nyctemeridae, Nyctemerinae] PPE03
    |    |--Rhodogastria crokeri NC91, P27
    |    |--Amsacta NC91
    |    |--Spilosoma NC91
    |    |--Ctimene synestia Meyrick 1886 M86a
    |    |--Bursada M86a
    |    |--Exitelica C70
    |    |--Argina NC91
    |    |    |--A. astrea NC91
    |    |    `--A. cribraria P27
    |    |--Metacrias Meyrick 1886 PPE03, M86b
    |    |    |--M. erichrysa Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |    |    |--M. huttonii [=Phaos huttonii] M86b
    |    |    `--M. strategica PPE03
    |    |--Aloa MC13
    |    |    |--A. bifrons WM66
    |    |    |--A. lactinea WM66
    |    |    `--A. marginata MC13
    |    |--Utetheisa MC13
    |    |    |--U. lotrix NC91
    |    |    |--U. pectinata NC91
    |    |    |--U. pulchella WM66
    |    |    `--U. pulchelloides MC13
    |    |--Arctia DS73
    |    |    |--A. caja DS73
    |    |    |--A. flavia DS73
    |    |    `--A. villica DS73
    |    |         |--A. v. villica DS73
    |    |         `--A. v. britannica DS73
    |    `--Nyctemera NC91
    |         |--N. amica [=Agagles amicus] M86b
    |         |--N. annulata [=Leptosoma annulatum; incl. N. doubledayi] M86b
    |         |--N. artemis [=Leptosoma artemis] M86a
    |         |--N. crescens M86b
    |         |--N. cribraria (Linnaeus 1758) M86b, L58 (see below for synonymy)
    |         |--N. separata M86b
    |         |--N. tertiana M86b
    |         `--N. varians WM66
    `--Lithosiinae [Lithosiidae] NC91
         |--Prinasura AY04
         |--Stigmatophora flava P01
         |--Halone coryphaea NC91
         |--Xanthodule semiochrea NC91
         |--Cyptasia egregiella M86b
         |--Oeonistis NC91
         |    |--O. delia ZS10
         |    `--O. entella NC91
         |--Scoliacma Meyrick 1886 NC91, M86b
         |    |--S. bicolor [=Lithosia bicolora; incl. L. rubratra] M86b
         |    |--S. orthotoma Meyrick 1886 M86b
         |    `--S. pactolias Meyrick 1886 M86b
         |--Peronetis Meyrick 1886 M86a
         |    |--P. ochropyga [=Cyme ochropyga] M86a
         |    |--P. pardalina [=Cyme pardalina] M86a
         |    `--P. xenodora Meyrick 1886 M86a
         |--Thallarcha Meyrick 1886 NC91, M86b
         |    |--T. albicollis [=Pitane albicollis] M86b
         |    |--T. chrysochares Meyrick 1886 M86b
         |    |--T. jocularis NC91
         |    |--T. phaedropa Meyrick 1886 M86b
         |    `--T. phalarota Meyrick 1886 M86b
         |--Termessa NC91
         |    |--T. catocalina [=Clisobara catocalina] M86b
         |    |--T. congrua M86b
         |    |--T. conographa Meyrick 1886 M86b
         |    |--T. discrepans [incl. T. hamula] M86b
         |    |--T. gratiosa [=Eutane gratiosa] M86b
         |    |--T. laeta M86b
         |    |--T. nivosa [=Lerna nivosa] M86b
         |    `--T. shepherdi M86b
         `--Lithosia L02
              |--L. bicosta [incl. L. fraterna Butl. 1877] M86b
              |--L. caja (Linnaeus 1758) L02, L58 [=Phalaena (Bombyx) caja L58, L02]
              |--L. chionora Meyrick 1886 M86b
              |--L. complana L02
              |--L. gigantella [=Tinea gigantella] L02
              |--L. plana M86
              |--L. pristina Walk. 1885 M86b
              `--L. salicis (Linnaeus 1758) L02, L58 [=Phalaena (Bombyx) salicis L58, L02]

Arctiidae incertae sedis:
  Deilemera antinorii A71
  Pareuchaetes pseudoinsulata W03
  Tyria jacobeae DS73
  Agyrtidia uranophila DS73
  Euplagia quadripunctaria [incl. Callimorpha hera] DS73
    |--E. q. quadripunctaria DS73
    `--E. q. lutescens DS73
  Callimorpha dominula DS73
  Nicaea longipennis DS73
  Ardices curvata P27
  Lexis nitens P27
  Calamidia P27
    |--C. hirta [=Lithosia hirta] M86b
    `--C. salpinctis Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Scaptesyle monogrammaria P27
  Asura P27
    |--A. cervicalis M86b
    |--A. habrotis Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--A. lydia [=Pitane lydia; incl. A. gaudens] M86b
  Comarchis Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--C. aspectatella [=Oecophora aspectatella; incl. Tinea oecophorella] M86b
    |--C. chrysochoa Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--C. isophragma Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--C. jocularis (Ros. 1885) [=Mosoda jocularis] M86b
    |--C. lochaga Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--C. oblita [=Pitane oblita] M86b
    |--C. sparsana [=Conchylis sparsana; incl. Pallene gracilis Butl. 1877] M86b
    |--C. staurocola Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--C. tineoides [=Eutane tineoides; incl. Pitane amanda] M86b
  Creatonotus gangis P27
  Stauropolia nekrutenkoi GE05
  Josiomorpha penetrata GE05
  Episcea extravagans GE05
  Crocomela luxuriosa GE05
  Emydia striata [incl. E. striata var. bipunctata] P01
  Diacrisia russula P01
  Nemeophila plantaginis P01
  Hemihylea WZ10
  Deiopeia M86b
    |--D. pulchella M86b
    `--D. syringa M86b
  Hestiarcha Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--*H. pyrrhopa Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Exotrocha Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--*E. liboria [=Noctua liboria, Lithosia liboria] M86b
  Heterallactis Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--*H. euchrysa Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Parelictis Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--*P. saleuta Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Scaeodora Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--*S. omophanes Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--S. chionastis Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Cluaca M86b
    |--C. rubricosta M86b
    `--C. struthias Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Anestia Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--*A. ombrophanes Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Palaexera Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--*P. phyllodes Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Brunia M86b
    |--B. harpophora Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--B. replana [=Lithosia replana; incl. L. dispar] M86b
  Teulisna dasypyga [=Diastrophia dasypyga] M86b
  Tigrioides M86b
    |--T. alterna [=Setina alterna; incl. Lithosia transversa] M86b
    |--T. furcifera [=Setina furcifera; incl. S. trifurcata] M86b
    |--T. heminephes Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--T. nana [=Lithosia nana] M86b
    `--T. spilarcha Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Calligenia M86b
    |--C. cyclota Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--C. melitaula Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--C. pyraula Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--C. structa [=Pallene structa] M86b
  Symmetrodes Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--*S. nitens [=Lithosia nitens; incl. L. remota] M86b
  Neobrocha Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--N. adoxa Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--N. phaeocyma Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Sorocostia M86b
  Mosoda M86b
    |--M. anartoides Walk. 1900 M86b
    |--M. consolatrix Ros. 1885 M86b
    |--M. jucunda [=Pallene jucunda; incl. Tospitis transitana] M86b
    |--M. ophiodes Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--M. sejuncta [=Pitane sejuncta] M86b
    `--M. servilis Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Hectobrocha Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--*H. pentacyma Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Chiriphe M86b
    |--C. catarrhoa Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--C. dichotoma Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--C. dictyota Meyrick 1886 M86b
    |--C. monogrammaria M86b
    |--C. procrena Meyrick 1886 M86b
    `--C. stenopa Meyrick 1886 M86b
  Zia tactalis [incl. Aquita horridella] M86b
  Areas M86b
    |--A. costalis [=Aloa costalis] M86b
    |--A. lactinea M86b
    `--A. marginata (Linnaeus 1758) M86b, L58 (see below for synonymy)
  Eutane M86b
    |--E. partita M86b
    `--E. terminalis [incl. E. maculata Butl. 1877] M86b
  Phragmatobia interrupta M86b

Areas marginata (Linnaeus 1758) M86b, L58 [=Phalaena marginata M86b; incl. A. moorei M86b, A. roseicostis M86b]

Nyctemera cribraria (Linnaeus 1758) M86b, L58 [=Phalaena cribraria M86b; incl. Noctua astrea M86b, Xanthesthes guttata M86b, Argina notata M86b, Bombyx pylotis M86b]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A71] Askew, R. R. 1971. Parasitic Insects. Heinemann Educational Books: London.

[AY04] Austin, A. D., D. K. Yeates, G. Cassis, M. J. Fletcher, J. La Salle, J. F. Lawrence, P. B. McQuillan, L. A. Mound, D. J. Bickel, P. J. Gullan, D. F. Hales & G. S. Taylor. 2004. Insects ‘Down Under’—diversity, endemism and evolution of the Australian insect fauna: examples from select orders. Australian Journal of Entomology 43 (3): 216–234.

[C70] Common, I. F. B. 1970. Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 765–866. Melbourne University Press.

[DS73] Dickens, M., & E. Storey. 1973. The World of Moths. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.: New York.

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

[JP05] Jungmann, E., & U. Poller. 2005. Neunachweise und Wiederfunde für die Schmetterlingsfauna (Insecta; Lepidoptera) des Altenburger Landes. Mauritiana 19 (2): 317–326.

[L02] Latreille, P. A. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, générale et particulière des crustacés et des insectes vol. 3. Familles naturelles des genres. F. Dufart: Paris.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[MC13] Majer, J. D., S. K. Callan, K. Edwards, N. R. Gunawardene & C. K. Taylor. 2013. Baseline survey of the terrestrial invertebrate fauna of Barrow Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 83: 13–112.

[M86a] Meyrick, E. 1886a. On some Lepidoptera from the Fly River. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (2): 241–258.

[M86b] Meyrick, E. 1886b. Revision of Australian Lepidoptera. I. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (3): 687–802.

[NO08] Nässig, W. A., & R. G. Oberprieler. 2008. An annotated catalogue of the genera of Eupterotidae (Insecta, Lepidoptera, Bombycoidea). Senckenbergiana Biologica 88 (1): 53–80.

[NC91] Nielsen, E. S., & I. F. B. Common. 1991. Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 817–915. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[PPE03] Patrick, B., H. Patrick & E. Edwards. 2003. Tiger moths and pheromones. Weta 25: 14–17.

[P01] Pável, J. 1901. Lepkék [Lepidopteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 171–177. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

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

[WM66] Wallace, A. R., & F. Moore. 1866. List of lepidopterous insects collected at Takow, Formosa, by Mr. R. Swinhoe. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 355–365.

[W03] Waterhouse, B. M. 2003. Know your enemy: recent records of potentially serious weeds in northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Papua (Indonesia). Telopea 10 (1): 477–485.

[WZ10] Wood, D. M., & M. A. Zumbado. 2010. Tachinidae (tachinid flies, parasitic flies). In: Brown, B. V., A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N. E. Woodley & M. A. Zumbado (eds) Manual of Central American Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1343–1417. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[ZS10] Zborowski, P., & R. Storey. 2010. A Field Guide to Insects in Australia 3rd ed. Reed New Holland: Sydney.

Last updated: 14 August 2017.

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