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E.D. (Ted) Edwards
Lasiocampidae were first described from Australia by Fabricius (1775) who included 2 species in the genus Bombyx. The first biological information was given by Lewin (1805) for Paraguda nasuta (Lewin).
The first treatment of the Australan species as Lasiocampidae was by Turner (1911). They were included in Seitz's Macrolepidoptera of the World by Grünberg (1923) and the literature was listed up to 1936 in Lepidopterorum Catalogus by Collier (1936). The most useful revision of the Australian Lasiocampidae was by Turner (1924b). This firmly established the general outline of the classfication used in the Checklist. Turner subsequently described additional species but no further revision of the Australian species has been published. Common (1990) provided a useful account of the family in which many species have larvae feeding on such typical Australian plant genera as Acacia, Casuarina, and Eucalyptus.
The subfamily classification used here was proposed by Franclemont (1973). Some authors included in the family the superfamily Bombycoidea (Nielsen & Common 1991; Scoble 1992) but Minet (1994) separated the Lasiocampidae with the Anthelidae in the superfamily Lasiocampoidea.
The family contains 73 described species in 12 genera and the two subfamilies, Gastropachinae and Lasiocampinae are represented in the fauna. There are considerable numbers of well recognised undescribed species. The genera and species in Australia are nearly all endemic with only one or two species in the genera Cyclophragma Lower, Paraguda Bethune-Baker and Porela Walker occurring in New Guinea. In recent years many species from South East Asia have been assigned to Cyclophragma Lower but their true relationship to the type species, Cyclophragma cyclomela Lower which is Australian, has not been settled.
The genera Entometa Walker, Porela Walker, Symphyta Turner and Pinara Walker contain complexes of species poorly delineated at present. In Pinara Walker in particular the sexes differ greatly and must be associated by rearing.
Australian Lasiocampidae are not known to cause urtication by contract with the larval hairs and none is responsible for important damage to crops.
Fabricius, J.C. 1775. Systema Entomologiae, sistens Insectorum Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, adiectis Synonymis, Locis, Descriptionibus, Observationibus. Flensburgi et Lipsiae [= Flensburg & Leipzig] : Kortii xxxii 832 pp. [Date published 17 April]
Franclemont, J.G. 1973. Mimallonidea Mimallonoidae and Bombycoidea Apatelodidae, Bombycidae, Lasiocampidae. In, Dominick, R.B. et al. (eds). The Moths of America North of Mexico. London : E.W. Classey Limited and R.B.D. Publications Inc. Vol. 20.1. 86+viii pp., 11 pls.
Grünberg, K. 1923. Lasiocampidae. pp. 391-415, pls 32, 33, 46 in Seitz, A. (ed.). The Macrolepidoptera of the World. 10. Bombyces and Sphinges of the Indo-Australian Region. 2 vols. Stuttgart : Alfred Kernen Verlag 909 pp., 100 pls.
Nielsen, E.S. & Common, I.F.B. 1991. Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies). pp. 817-915, pls 7, 8 in CSIRO (ed.). The Insects of Australia. 2 vols. Carlton : Melbourne University Press xiii + vi + 1075 pp., 8 pls.
Turner, A.J. 1924. Revision of Australian Lepidoptera. Lasiocampidae. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 49: 397-428 [Date published 29 Dec. 1924]
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