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Family Limacodidae - Slug Caterpillar Moths

7-18 moth Stinging rose caterpillar - Parasa indetermina Prolimacodes badia Graceful Slug Moth for Virginia? - Lithacodes fasciola Beutenmueller's Slug Moth - Hodges #4675 - Isochaetes beutenmuelleri - female Parasa indetermina  - Parasa indetermina Perola - Perola clara yellow-shouldered slug - Lithacodes fasciola
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Zygaenoidea (Flannel, Slug Caterpillar, Leaf Skeletonizer Moths and kin)
Family Limacodidae (Slug Caterpillar Moths)
Other Common Names
Slug Caterpillars (larvae)
Slug Moths (adults)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
LIMACODIDAE Duponchel, 1844 (1)
Explanation of Names
Family name Limacodidae is from Limacodes (author?), which was a genus name for a number of species in this family, but is now (apparently) no longer in use. That from limac/limax a snail or slug, plus suffix -odes form (2). This clearly refers to the caterpillars. (3)
Common name is for the caterpillars, which move with a slug-like gliding motion.
50 species in 22 genera in North American
wingspan 15-43 mm (4)
Adult: body stout, often hairy; wings broad, rounded, often brown or yellowish with contrasting forewing markings; head small, retracted; antennae bipectinate in male, at least in basal half; abdomen often elevated and recurved when at rest, but this posture is not unique to slug moths

Larva: body variably naked to densely hairy, usually with stinging hairs; may be green, brown, or various other colors - often bright and/or strikingly patterned; surface may be smooth, bumpy, or ridged, sometimes with spines or spine-covered fleshy protuberances giving a bizarre appearance
Caterpillars feed on woody and herbaceous plants. (4)
Life Cycle
overwinters as a larva in loose oval cocoon
Print References
Borror, various entries (2)
Covell, pp. 408-412 (4)
Works Cited
1.Revision and phylogeny of the Limacodid-Group families, with evolutionary studies on Slug Caterpillars Lepidoptera: Zygaenoidea
Marc E. Epstein. 1996. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 582.
2.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
3.An accentuated list of the British Lepidoptera, with hints on the derivation of the names.
Anonymous. 1858. The Entomological Societies of Oxford and Cambridge.
4.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.