Lichen moth Click to enlarge image
Lichen moth (Arctiidae: Lithosiinae). Snowy Footman Termessa nivosa (Walker, 1865) Image: David Britton
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    nivosa
    Genus
    Termessa
    Subfamily
    Lithosiinae
    Family
    Arctiidae
    Super Family
    Noctuoidea
    Order
    Lepidoptera
    Class
    Insecta
  • Life history mode
    terrestrial, volant

Introduction

T. nivosa is one of the most common Termessa species in southeastern mainland Australia

Identification

The only Termessa species which is predominantly white. There is very little variation between individual moths throughout the range of this species.

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

Forested regions along the Dividing Range, including wet forests

Distribution

From Victoria north to the Allyn River in NSW

Seasonality

October to December

Feeding and diet

Larvae probably feed on lichen

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.