Moths (Lepidoptera) Moths (Lepidoptera)


Moths belong to the Order Lepidoptera. We have over 22,000 species of moth in Australia.

When taking photos of moths, it is most helpful to obtain images of both the upperside (dorsal) view of the wings, in addition to the underside (ventral) view of the wings. This makes the identification process much easier for some of the hard-to-identify species. 

Moths are the adult stage of the life cycle (so it’s important to note that if you see a small moth, it is not going to grow into a larger one, it will stay the same size!). Adult moths are the life stage responsible for the reproduction and dispersal of the species; the females lay eggs singly or in clusters on or near the larval food plant; these eggs then hatch into larvae (caterpillars) which are the life stage responsible for eating and growing; these then form a pupa (chrysalis) where the larval stage transforms into the adult moth. Some species will overwinter as eggs, or as larvae, or as pupae. Some species are migratory and do not overwinter here at all, and some species are only occasional vagrants to our area.

Further Info:

The Moth species in the NatureMapr project have been grouped into Categories to aid Identification. The other groups are based on the moth families on the Australian Faunal Directory. 

  • The often-observed family Geometridae forms the second group.  
  • The Erebidae contains the Arctiinae as well as the Lymantriinae and some subfamilies that previously belonged to the Noctuidae, which are combined with the Erebidae in the third group. 
  • This is followed by the Crambidae and Pyralidae together in the fourth group. 
  • The fifth group “Other families of larger moths” contains the Hepialidae, Psychidae, Cossidae, Limacodidae, Hyblaeidae, Uraniidae, Lasiocampidae, Anthelidae, Eupterotidae, Saturniidae, Sphingidae, Oenosandridae and Notodontidae (plus some other families that will only be recorded infrequently in the ALCW area). 
  • The Oecophoridae forming the sixth group are the most often observed micromoths, both because they are the biggest Australian Lepidoptera family and because a significant number of them fly in the day as well as at night. 
  • The seventh category has all the other families of the superfamily Gelechioidea other than the Oecophoridae – principally the Hypertrophidae, Depressariidae, Cosmopterigidae, Gelechiidae, and Lecithoceridae, although there are also other smaller families in the Gelechioidea.
  • The family Tortricidae is another micromoth family that forms the eighth category. 
  • All the other families of micromoths are grouped in the last category.

No species found

No species currently exist here.

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