Commonly known as the White-spotted Owl-Moth (Donuca spectabilis), is a member of the family Noctuidae and is found across most of mainland Australia.

White-spotted Owl-Moth (Donuca spectabilis)
White-spotted Owl-Moth (Donuca spectabilis), Alice Springs, NT

The forewings of the adult moth of this species have an interesting range of brown and white patterns, although some are dark-brown, grey to black in colour. The hindwings are also similar, but with less patterns. The abdomen has orange segments to the tip. The forelegs have red hairs on the femurs.

White-spotted Owl-Moth (Donuca spectabilis)
Ventral view of the White-spotted Owl-Moth (Donuca spectabilis)

The White-spotted Owl-Moth pictured on this page was recovered from a swimming pool in a garden. Whilst it first appeared to be deceased, it then recovered and was able to stand on its legs.

On closer inspection of the moth, we noticed one of its forewings was missing.

White-spotted Owl-Moth (Donuca spectabilis)
White-spotted Owl-Moth (Donuca spectabilis)

Many thanks to Bjørn M Fjellstad from Butterflies, Moths and other Invertebrates of Australia, Facebook group for assistance with identifying this species.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Noctuidae
  • Genus: Donuca
  • Species: D. spectabilis
  • Binomial name: Donuca spectabilis
  • Synonyms:
    • Eucyclomma spectabilis
    • Donuca memorabilis
    • Serrodes xanthorrhoea
    • Serrodes yorkensis
    • Serrodes queenslandica
    • Donuca spectabilica
    • Donuca yorkensis

Footnote & References

  1. Butterflies, Moths and other Invertebrates of Australia, Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/170745013686340
  2. Donuca spectabilis, Coffs harbour Butterfly House, http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/cato/spectabilis.html
  3. White-spotted Owl Moth (Donuca spectabilis), Bushpea.com, http://www.bushpea.com/in/pg/all/w/white-spotted%20owl%20moth%2002.html
  4. Donuca spectabilis Walker, White-Spotted Owl Moth, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:afd.taxon:8e07995d-e488-4e25-80c9-d16a3248ef56
  5. Donuca spectabilis, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donuca_spectabilis (last visited Jan. 8, 2022)