Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Genus
    Termessa
    Subfamily
    Lithosiinae
    Family
    Arctiidae
    Super Family
    Noctuoidea
    Order
    Lepidoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Phylum
    Arthropoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Number of Species
    12
  • Life history mode
    terrestrial, volant

Introduction

Termessa is a genus of Australian lichen moths containing medium-sized species which usually have bright orange and black contrasting markings

Identification

Males in this genus have very small pectinations on the antennae compared to males of other lichen moths

DISCLAIMER: The identifications presented on these pages should be taken as indicative only. As with many groups of Australian insects there has been no formal revision of the Lithosiinae in recent years, and there are many undescribed species present in collections. Many species are superficially similar, and require a specialist to separate them.

Habitat

Mostly forested and heathland areas, but also open woodlands

Distribution

Most species are found on the east coast of mainland Australia, with one species reaching southwestern Western Australia, and one species extending into Tasmania

Biomaps map of <em>Termessa</em> specimens from the Australian Museum database http://www.biomaps.net.au/biomaps2/mapam.jsp?cqn=Termessa&cql=g&csy=Square

Seasonality

Most species are active in spring and early summer.

Feeding and diet

Larvae probably feed on lichens

Further reading

The majority of images of Lithosiinae presented on these pages were taken from specimens housed in the Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC) (CSIRO, Canberra). I would like to thank the staff and researchers at ANIC for their generous assistance in providing me access to this collection, and I acknowledge the depth of effort and the investment of staff time that has gone into building and curating this splendid resource. In particular, I would like to thank Ted Edwards and Marianne Horak for their assistance.

Common names for the Victorian fauna were sourced from Marriott, P. 2009. Moths of Victoria. Part 2 - Tiger Moths & Allies - Noctuoidea (A). Entomological Society of Victoria, Melbourne.