Tiger Cup Moth
Four-spotted Cup Moth
|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Order:||Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)|
|Family:||Cup Moth (:Zygaenoidea Limacodidae)|
|Species:||Four-spotted Cup Moth (Doratifera quadriguttata)|
|This Photo:||Male: dorsal|
|Other name:||Slug Moth|
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), the Adelaide Hills and elsewhere
~15mm long, wingspan ~34mm. Males have bipectinate antennae, females are filiform. The male pectinations are unusually thick and each look cupped & thicker at the end, almost spatulate.
A "Cup" moth because the pupal case is in the form of a cup.
A "Slug" moth because it's the only family who's larva don't have pro-legs and look more like a green slug (a snail without a house) from underneath.
This is a very interesting species. We believe it's a spcies complex, as there are 7 Bold DNA bins, with differing numbers of spots. The common name is miss-leading .... 2 spots per side = 4 spots total, or 4 spots per side? As it turns out we've counted between 2 to 8 spots per side. There is also another species whose adult is visually indistinguishable from these, Doratifera casta; which strangely isn't represented in the Bold DNA bins. As such, we'll show the adult & larva together under one species here, even though the adult could be the other.
The larva has retractable needle stingers discussed below. They have ordinary caterpillar heads, which is hard to see as it can be retracted and protected behind a thick layer of skin.
We've only found one adult in November.