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Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)

Australia is home to over 400 species of butterflies from five families: PAPILIONIDAE Swallowtails and Birdwings, NYMPHALIDAE Nymphs, Danaiids, Satyrs, Fritillaries, and Browns, PIERIDAE Whites and Yellows, LYCAENIDAE Blues and Coppers, HESPERIIDAE Darters and Skippers. There are many more moths, about 22,000 species, of which only half have been described so far.

Anthela varia

ANTHELIDAE (Lappet moths)
Anthelidae is a family of Australian lappet moths. The caterpillars are very hairy, and may cause skin irritation. The adults are medium to very... 

day-flying Magpie moths (Family Arctiidae), one of the genus Nyctemera

ARCTIIDAE Day-flying moths, Tigers, Magpie Moths
Arctiidae is a large and diverse family of moths including tiger moths, footmen, lichen moths and wasp moths. Many species have hairy caterpillars. 

Crambid Moth caterpillar

CRAMBIDAE Crambid Moths
In many classifications, the Crambidae have been treated as a subfamily of the Pyralidae or snout-moths. This caterpillar on Hovea paniculata was... 


GELECHIIDAE Gelechiid Moths
Dichomeris capnites, listed in Ian Commonís Moths of Australia as feeding on Acronychia. The adult moths have dark brown forewings, each with several... 


GEOMETRIDAE Measuring moths
Green moth with reddish brown spots on each wing which have a yellowish margin. The caterpillar is a pale green or brown looper. Wingspan 2cm. Feeds... 

Leaf miner caterpillars form tunnels and cavities in the spongy layer between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves. They live and feed inside these... 

Orange Palm-dart - Cephrenes augiades

HESPERIIDAE Darters and Skippers
Orange Palm-darts are medium sized with large bodies and relatively small orange-yellow wings. They fly in a very rapid and jerky style, which has... 

Anaxidia lozogramma Limacodidae cup moths

This calling moth is Anaxidia lozogramma. Thanks to Peter Hendry and Ted Edwards for help with ID. This behavour of raising the abdomen and... 

Common Grass Blue - Zizinia labradus

LYCAENIDAE Gossamer winged, Blues and Coppers
The Lycaenidae are the second-largest family of butterflies, with about 6000 species worldwide. Traditional divided into the blues (Polyommatinae),... 


Lymantriidae is a family of moths found all over the world. Adult moths do not feed, have muted colours (browns and greys), although some are white,... 

Donuca orbigera

The Noctuidae are the largest family in the Lepidoptera with more than 35,000 known species (possibly 100,000 species altogether) in more than 4,200... 


Notodontidae is a family of moths most concentrated in tropical areas, heavy-bodied and long-winged, the wings held folded across the back of the... 

Yellow Admiral - Vanessa itea

NYMPHALIDAE Nymphs, Danaiids, Satyrs, Fritillaries, and Browns
The Nymphalidae is a family of about 5,000 species of butterflies, typically fairly large, such as the emperor, admirals, tortoiseshells and... 


PAPILIONIDAE Swallowtails and Birdwings
Papilionidae are large and colourful butterflies found mostly in tropical latitudes. Swallowtail butterfly diversity is greatest in East and... 

Black Jezebel - Delias nigrina

PIERIDAE (Whites and Yellows)
The Pieridae are a large family of butterflies, mainly white or yellow, often with black spots. The larvae (caterpillars) of some of these species... 

Case Moth


Hawk Moth

The SPHINGIDAE (Hawk Moths) can fly very fast, and can also hover in flight. They use this ability to sip nectar from flowers using their long... 


The family XYLORYCTIDAE was considered to be a subfamily of OECOPHORIDAE by Nielsen et al., but here following the later book A Guide to Australian...