Some moths of LYMANTRIIDAE in Australia
Tussock Moths
Don Herbison-Evans,
Stella Crossley







The Tussock Moths are so-named because the Caterpillars of many members have four long dense dorsal tufts of hair. Many also have other hair pencils, and also two coloured dorsal glands on abdominal segments six and seven. These glands appear to exude a liquid which deters ants from attacking the caterpillars.

Many of the caterpillars are a pest for two reasons:

  • they attack cultivated plants, not just in Australia, but more seriously overseas, and
  • also, the hairs of many species cause skin irritation in some people (Urticaria and Dendrolimiasis).

    If you or your people in your family are sensitive, you will have to be vigilant and collect any larvae that you see into say a jam jar for transport a long way away. Killing in situ or even burning them is hazardous as the hairs from the dead larvae can blow about and cause more inflammation.

    The caterpillars usually pupate within a cocoon incorporating their larval hairs. These hairs can cause more problems if the cocoons are handled, or if they disintegrate and the hairs are released to blow about.

    The adults are short lived because they have a reduced haustellum and do not feed. In some species the females are wingless. Many of the caterpillars are very colourful.

    It has been recommended that the scientific names of many species in LYMANTRIIDAE be changed after detailed morphological studies, particularly by Jeremy Holloway and published in his more recent book "Moths of Borneo" (1999). However, here we are still using the older names from the "Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia" (1996)

    The 74 named Australian named members of LYMANTRIIDAE are included in:

  • Acyphas amphideta
    Acyphas chionitis : White Tussock Moth
  • Acyphas fulviceps
    Acyphas leptotypa
  • Acyphas pelodes
    Acyphas semiochrea : Omnivorous Tussock Moth
    Acyphas species

    Arctornis submarginata

    Calliteara farenoides
    Calliteara pura : Perfect Tussock Moth

    Dasychira species

    Dasychiroides pratti

    Dura marginepunctata
    Dura niveus
    Dura ochrias

  • Euproctis acatharta
    Euproctis actor
  • Euproctis aganopa
    Euproctis arrogans
    Euproctis crocea
    Euproctis edwardsii : Mistletoe Browntail Moth
    Euproctis emprepes
    Euproctis epaxia
  • Euproctis epidela
  • Euproctis euthysana
    Euproctis fimbriata
    Euproctis galactopis
    Euproctis habrostola
    Euproctis holoxutha
    Euproctis hymnolis
    Euproctis idonea
  • Euproctis leonina
  • Euproctis limbalis
    Euproctis lucifuga
    Euproctis lutea
  • Euproctis melanorrhanta
    Euproctis melanosoma : Black-bodied Browntail Moth
  • Euproctis ochroneura
  • Euproctis panabra
    Euproctis paradoxa
    Euproctis pyraustis
  • Euproctis stenomorpha
    Euproctis subnobilis
    Euproctis trispila
  • Euproctis urbis
  • Euproctis xuthoptera
  • Euproctis xuthosterna

    Euzora collucens

    Habrophylla euryzona

  • Habrophylla pycnadelpha
  • Habrophylla retinopepla

  • Icta fulviceps
  • Icta tanaopis

    Iropoca rotundata : Irapoca Moth

  • Laelia furva
    Laelia obsoleta : Tinged Tussock Moth

    Leptocneria binotata
    Leptocneria reducta : White Cedar Moth

    Lymantria antennata
    Lymantria lunata
    Lymantria nephrographa
    Lymantria pelospila

    Olene cookiensis

  • Olene dryina
    Olene mendosa

    Oligeria hemicalla : Tiny Tussock Moth

    Orgyia australis

  • Orgyia papuana

    Orvasca aliena
    Orvasca semifusca : Coastal Browntail Moth

    Psalis pennatula

    Teia anartoides : Painted Apple Moth
    Teia athlophora

    Urocoma baliolalis : Browntail Gum Moth
    Urocoma limbalis : Bordered Browntail Moth
    Urocoma marginalis : Margined Browntail Moth
    Urocoma niphobola

    Some undetermined Lymantriid caterpillars are

    Lymantriid A
    Lymantriid B

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 15 December 2015, 15 January 2017)