Lappet Moths


Lappet moths form another group of aboul 650 species (Heppner in press) of stout, medium-sized (WS usually 4—6 cm),

Figure 10.10. MOTHS, (a) Prominent moth (Cliara croesus, Notodontidae). (b) Prominent moth (unidentified), larva, (c) Lappet moth (Euglyphis cribraria, Lasiocampidae). (d) Lappet moth (unidentified), larva, (e) Measuring worm (unidentified, Geometridae), larva, (f) Polka dot moth (Pantherodes pardularia, Geometridae).

drab or pale moths with bodies densely clothed with compact hairlike scales. A white species is Euglyphis cribraria (fig. 10.10c). Many species rest with the fore wings folded rooflike but with the hind wings splayed out flat beyond the edges of the fore wings. Females of many have reduced or vestigial wings and do not leave the location of their emergence from the pupa. The abdomen tends to be somewhat larger than in related groups. Their caterpillars usually possess dense growths of fine hairs, generally distributed over the body or in series along the sides which contact the substrate, eliminating the shadow of the body and aiding in camouflage. The hairs are venomous and can cause a rash on human skin.

Some such larvae are brightly colored, advertising their toxic nature, and have the habit of grouping together, either exposed or in large silken tents. Silk swaths gathered from the large hammock-net cocoons of Gloveria psidii (= Sagana sapotoza) and pasted together to form a kind of hard cloth, or paper, were an important trade item in Mexico at the time of Moctezuma 'Bornbyx madrona"). (See domestic silk moth.) Reference

Heppner, j. B. In press. Lepidoptera family classification: A guide to the higher categories, world diversity and literature resources of the butterflies and moths. Flora and Fauna, Gainesville.

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