Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Giant Butterfly Moths (Lepidoptera: Castniidae)

  • John B. Heppner
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1089
Giant butterfly moths, family Castniidae, total 170 known species, mostly Neotropical but with some species also in the Indo-Australian region; likely world total may exceed 180 species. Three subfamlies are known, with the more unusual groups being from Australia and Southeast Asia: Synemoninae, Neocastniinae, and Castniinae. The family is its own monobasic superfamily, Castnioidea, in the section Cossina, subsection Cossina, of the division Ditrysia. Adults medium to large size (24–190 mm wingspan), with head smooth scaled and eyes large; haustellum naked (rarely vestigial); labial palpi often with distal segment erect; maxillary palpi 2 to 4-segmented; antennae clubbed. Body robust. Wings quadratic and broad (Fig. 19); hindwings rounded. Maculation variable but often dark browns with lighter bands or other markings; often colorful with variously colored patches and markings, especially on the hindwings. Adults diurnal or crepuscular. Larvae are borers of monocot plants, including...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Dalla Torre KW von (1913) Castniidae: subfamily Castniinae, Neocastniinae, Pemphigostolinae. In: Lepidopterorum catalogus, 15:1–28. W. Junk, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  2. Houlbert C (1918) Révision monographique de la sous- famille des Castniinae. In: études de Lépidoptèrologie comparée, 15:5–730, pl. 587–612. C. Oberthür, RennesGoogle Scholar
  3. Miller JY (1972–1980) Studies in the Castniidae. Bull Allyn Mus 6:1–13 (1972); 60:1–15 (1980)Google Scholar
  4. Seitz A (ed) (1911–1926) Familie: Castniidae. In Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde. Teil 10. Die indo-australischen Spinner und Schwärmer, 6:5–19, pl. 1–8 (1913); 10:1–4, pl. 1, 9 (1911); 14:15–18, pl. 1 (1926). A. Kernen, Stuttgart: [also English and French editions]Google Scholar
  5. Westwood JO (1877) A monograph of the lepidopterous genus Castnia and some allied genera. Trans Linn Soc Lon 2-Zool 1:155–207, pl. 28–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Heppner
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida State Collection of ArthropodsGainesvilleUSA