Moths | Four-spotted Cup Moth (Doratifera quadriguttata) ◦

The Four-spotted Cup Moth (Doratifera quadriguttata) caterpillar is a colourful insect, with a pale green body, with black, yellow and white patterns and colours on the top. There are eight pale coloured spikes on the each side, whilst at the front and end there are a pair of red spikes. On the top of thorax section, there are four hidden red spikes, that will erect with stinging hairs when disturbed. These caterpillars sting.

Four-spotted Cup Moth (Doratifera quadriguttata)
Four-spotted Cup Moth (Doratifera quadriguttata), Alice Springs, NT

Belonging to a group of insect called Cup Moths (family Limacodidae), these moths are found all over Australia. The caterpillars have stout bodies, and appear slug-like, hence their other common name of Slug Moth, due to the fact that the larva do not have pro-legs. Most caterpillar species have six true legs located on their thorax, with different sets of prolegs (from two pairs to five pairs), depending on the species (check out the link below for a great article “Prolegs: Spotlight on Caterpillar Anatomy”).

Cup moths feed on a wide range of Eucalyptus species.

Thanks to Kimberi Pullen for ID, from Butterflies, Moths and other Invertebrates of Australia Facebook group.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Limacodidae
  • Genus: Doratifera
  • Species: D. quadriguttata
  • Binomial name: Doratifera quadriguttata

Footnote & References

  1. Doratifera quadriguttata (Walker, 1855), Four-spotted Cup Moth, Coffs Harbour Butterfly House,
  2. Four-Spotted Cup Moth – Doratifera quadriguttata, Brisbane Insects and Spiders,
  3. Doratifera quadriguttata (Walker, 1855) – Gallery, Atlas of Living Australia,
  4. Cup Moths (Doratifera spp.), Forest Protection, State Forests of New South Wales,
  5. Butterflies, Moths and other Invertebrates of Australia Facebook group,
  6. Prolegs: Spotlight on Caterpillar Anatomy, The Caterpillar Lab,

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