Insect Wiki

This collage (Above) Highlights some of the main families in Arctiinae

Actiinae (Greek: αρκτος = a bear) Also Known as Arctiidae Is a subfamily which compromises of Tiger moths, Arctiinae is abduntant and diverse with upto 1450 genre and An estimated 10000+ Species of Lepidopterans. They are formerely known as Footmen Moths (Collective noun for Footman moth) Wasp moths, tiger Moths and Wooly bear Caterpillars (For their Larval stage) Additionally,Some species have been Misidentified as Lymantrine moths according to Wikipedia.


The moths from this subfamily are generally colorful night-flyers, wasp moths on an account of their Mullerian mimicry which is a specialized method of mimicry to prevent unsuspecting predators from consuming them, It is indeed true that this moth mimics wasp (Although it is harmless) as a method of preventing larger insects and birds from consuming them. Tiger moths are colorful with dazzling patterns coating their wings which furthermore warns predators of the poison the adults often contain. Footman moths can often be mistook for tiger moths however they are much smaller and overlap their wings when at resting position. Their caterpillars are covered with hairs that are modified venom injectors often leading to serious health problems when touched.


Defense Mechanisms[]

The caterillars are covered with modified venomous sting, that will be embeded into any will-be attacker upon physical contanct, venom glands are concealed beneath the skin of these adorable little bugs that can cause severe health issues, The venom is enquired from their host plants, Wasp moths have a single pair of thin wings and larger brightly-marked bodies that closely resemble Wasps which may scare away predators and create an illusion of a dangerous wasp. Lichen moths generally have pale wings that match the color of the lichen their food is driven from, They have an incredibly effective camouflage. And are only visible without their camouflage, Similarly tiger moths use their dazzling bright colors as a warning sign against predators conveying that they're highly toxic this is known as Aposematism which is the advertising by an animal to potential predators that it is not worth attacking or eating. This unprofitability may consist of any defences which make the prey difficult to kill and eat, such as toxicity, venom, foul taste or smell, sharp spines, or aggressive nature. Some tiger moths produce ultrasonic clicks in response to the echolocation of bats to protect themselves.

Sensory organs[]

The adults are distinguished due to their tympanal organs, A tympanal organ is a hearing organ in insects, consisting of a membrane (tympanum) stretched across a frame backed by an air sac and associated sensory neurons. Sounds vibrate the membrane, and the vibrations are sensed by a chordotonal organ. The sounds produced are used for attracting a mate or as a defense against various attackers. The tympanal organs are located on the thorax of these species.

Climatic Adaptations[]

woolly bear caterpillars roll into a tight spiral or drop from their perch suspended by a strand of silk. Isabella tiger moths (Pyrrharctia isabella) overwinter in the caterpillar stage. They can survive freezing at moderate subzero temperatures by producing a cryoprotectant chemical. The larvae of another species, Phragmatobia fuliginosa, may be found on snow seeking a place to pupate. Species in Arctic and temperate belts overwinter in the larval stage.


Listed below are the classified tribes other tribes either remain unclassified or are'nt assiged yet. There are too many families, species and genera to be listed!


  • Arctiini
  • Lithosiini
  • Syntomini