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Moths (Lepidoptera) Moths (Lepidoptera)


Moths belong to the Order Lepidoptera. We have over 22,000 species of moth in Australia, with over 600 species already recorded within the Atlas of Coastal Wilderness region. 

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 ALCW NatureMapr project have been grouped into Categories to aid Identification:

  • The first group are the common species that are most often reported to the ALCW.  They are taken from all families, and are not repeated in the family group to which they technically belong. Please look here first if you are trying to identify a moth by looking at the ALCW photos. 

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.

Page 1 of Moths (Lepidoptera) - 797 species

Common moth Abantiades hyalinatus (Abantiades hyalinatus)

Abantiades hyalinatus Photo ALA cc
Abantiades hyalinatus Wonboyn, NSW
Abantiades hyalinatus road to Baycliff, Wonboyn, NSW
Abantiades hyalinatus
Abantiades hyalinatus
Abantiades hyalinatus

Common moth Abantiades labyrinthicus (Labyrinthine Ghost Moth)

Abantiades labyrinthicus Wonboyn, NSW
Abantiades labyrinthicus
Abantiades labyrinthicus
Abantiades labyrinthicus
Abantiades labyrinthicus
Abantiades labyrinthicus

Oecophoridae Acanthodela erythrosema (Acanthodela erythrosema)

Acanthodela erythrosema Photo Donald Hobern
Acanthodela erythrosema
Acanthodela erythrosema
Acanthodela erythrosema

Noctuidae and Erebidae Acatapaustus leucospila (Acatapaustus leucospila)

Acatapaustus leucospila Wonboyn
Acatapaustus leucospila
Acatapaustus leucospila
Acatapaustus leucospila
Acatapaustus leucospila
Acatapaustus leucospila

Pyralidae and Crambidae Acentropinae sp. (Marsh moth)

Noctuidae and Erebidae Achaea janata (Castor Semi-looper)

Achaea janata Kerry Vance, Tathra
Achaea janata

More information

Common moth Achyra affinitalis (Achyra affinitalis)

Achyra affinitalis
Achyra affinitalis
Achyra affinitalis
Achyra affinitalis

Oecophoridae Acmotoma magniferella (Acmotoma magniferella)

Oecophoridae Acmotoma sp. (Acmotoma sp.)

Oecophoridae Acolasta scolia (Acolasta scolia)

Oecophoridae Acolasta sp. (Acolasta sp.)

Noctuidae and Erebidae Acontia nivipicta (Acontia nivipicta)

Acontia nivipicta Photo Donald Hobern (ALA)
Acontia nivipicta

Other families of larger moths Acosmeryx anceus (Acosmeryx anceus)

Acosmeryx anceus Photo ALA cc
Acosmeryx anceus
Acosmeryx miskini Paul Whitington
Acosmeryx miskini Paul Whitington
Acosmeryx miskini
Acosmeryx miskini

Other micromoths Acrocercops eupetala (Acrocercops eupetala)

Other micromoths Acrocercops laciniella (Acrocercops laciniella)

Other micromoths Acrocercops ophiodes (Acrocercops ophiodes)

Tortricidae Acroceuthes metaxanthana (Acroceuthes metaxanthana)

Acroceuthes metaxanthana Photo Donald Hobern (ALA)
Acroceuthes metaxanthana

Tortricidae Acropolitis excelsa (Acropolitis excelsa)

Acropolitis excelsa Photo ALA cc
Acropolitis excelsa

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