Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Subfamily Arctiinae - Tiger and Lichen Moths

Spilosoma congrua St. Lawrence Tiger Moth - Arctia parthenos Colorful Cat - Haploa Caterpillar - Halysidota schausi spiny cat - Hypoprepia moth - Spilosoma virginica - male - female 8131 – Estigmene acrea – Salt Marsh Moth - Estigmene acrea - male Cisthene liberomacula
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Formerly family Arctiidae.
Explanation of Names
From the type genus Arctia, from Greek meaning "bear", for the appearance of the hairy larvae. (1)
265 species in 88 genera listed at; 2 tribes in North America [Arctiini, Lithosiini]; a third tribe [Syntomini] is restricted to the Old World
about 11,000 species in three tribes worldwide
cosmopolitan; more diverse in the tropics
Life Cycle
See one example
Some of the information on this page was taken from the old Arctiidae page, with contributions from Troy Bartlett, cotinis, john and jane balaban, and Robin McLeod.
The most common response to danger is to suddenly wave their raised heads and tails.(2)
Print References
Hodges, R.W., T. Dominick, D.R. Davis, D.C. Ferguson, J.G. Franclemont, E.G. Munroe, and J.A. Powell. 1983. Check list of the Lepidoptera of America north of Mexico. E.W. Classey Ltd. and The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation. London. 282 pages.
Jacobson, N.L., and S.J. Weller. 2002. A cladistic study of the tiger moth family Arctiidae (Noctuoidea) based on larval and adult morphology. Thomas Say Monograph Series, Ent. Soc. America.
Kitching, I.J., and J.E. Rawlins. 1999. (The Noctuoidea, pp. 355-401 in Kristensen N.P. (editor). Lepidoptera: Moths and butterflies. Volume 1: Evolution, systematics and biogeography. Handbook of Zoology/Handbuch der Zoologie. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin/New York).
Internet References
Moths of Southeastern Arizona--gives subfamilies, tribes according to classification of Hodges et al (1983), now outdated
description, numbers, and biology (Gerald Fauske, North Dakota State U.)
links to pinned adult images of species in western Canada (CBIF)
links to pinned adult images of species in eastern Canada (CBIF)
classification of superfamily Noctuoidea, showing seven families (All-Leps)
Dave Czaplak (Web archive link)
Interesting Journal of Lepidopterists' Society article on how new Arctiids are crossing our border with Mexico here
Zootaxa. Checklist of Arctiinae of US and Canada.
Works Cited
1.An accentuated list of the British Lepidoptera, with hints on the derivation of the names.
Anonymous. 1858. The Entomological Societies of Oxford and Cambridge.
2.Hidden Company that Trees Keep: Life from Treetops to Root Tips
James B. Nardi. 2023. Princeton University Press.