NOCTUIDAE (NOCTUOIDEA) of Australia
Cutworms, Armyworms, Whistling Moths, Underwings
 

 
Don Herbison-Evans,
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

NOCTUIDAE

eggs
NOCTUIDAE

caterpillars
NOCTUIDAE

pupae
NOCTUIDAE

moths
NOCTUIDAE

undersides
        

There are approximately 1,100 named Australian species in NOCTUIDAE.
Here our species webpages are listed in 15 of the subfamilies of NOCTUIDAE :-


ACONTIINAE
170 species

ACRONICTINAE
28 species

AGARISTINAE
42 species

AMPHIPYRINAE
192 species

CALPINAE
~175 species

CATOCALINAE
~176 species

CUCULLIINAE
1 species

EUTELIINAE
19 species

HADENINAE
58 species

HELIOTHINAE
45 species

HYPENINAE
115 species

HYPENODINAE
4 species

NOCTUINAE
32 species

PLUSIINAE
16 species

RIVULINAE
7 species

STICTOPTERINAE
18 species

The NOCTUIDAE include many pests of garden and crop plants. Some, the "Cutworms", have Caterpillars that live in the soil near the soil surface, and they bite off young plants just above ground level at night, pulling them into their burrow. Others climb the plant and pull leaves down into the soil. Some are called "Armyworms" because the Caterpillars eat their way across a paddock like an army on the march. any species of this family are semi-loopers. They lack ventral prolegs and loop their bodies when moving. In this way they resemble the Caterpillars of the family GEOMETRIDAE.

The Caterpillars of NOCTUIDAE are usually smooth, lacking obvious hairs. Their bodies are often green, brown or yellow, and striped longitudinally.

Most species of NOCTUIDAE pupate in the soil, although a few pupate in a sparse cocoon under a leaf of their foodplant.

The adults mainly fly at night, feeding on nectar from flowers. Their nocturnal habits gave the family its latin name. Some of the adults have metallic-looking markings on their wings. but most have dull coloured wings.

Note that although the Checklist of Australian Lepidoptera includes the subfamilies NOLINAE ,   CHLOEPHORINAE , and   SARROTHRIPINAE in NOCTUIDAE , following the more recent book A Guide to Australian Moths here we list them in NOLIDAE.

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(updated 31 May 2014, 30 April 2017)