Five-spot Burnet moth, Zygaena trifolii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
(unranked): Apoditrysia
Superfamily: Zygaenoidea
Family: Zygaenidae
Latreille, 1809


Larva showing warning colours, flattening

The Zygaenidae moths are a family of Lepidoptera. The majority of zygaenids are tropical, but they are nevertheless quite well represented in temperate regions. There are about 1000 species. Various species are commonly known as Burnet or Forester moths, often qualified by the number of spots, although other families also have 'foresters'. They are also sometimes called Smoky moths.

All 43 species of Australian zygaenids are commonly known as foresters and belong to the tribe Artonini of the subfamily Procridinae. The only non-endemic species in Australia is Palmartona catoxantha, a Southeast Asian pest species which is believed to be already present in Australia or likely to arrive soon[1]



Zygaenid moths are typically day-flying with a slow fluttering flight, and with rather clubbed antennae. They generally have a metallic sheen and often prominent spots of red or yellow. The bright colours are a warning to predators that the moths are distasteful - they contain hydrogen cyanide (HCN) throughout all stages of their life-cycle. Unlike most insects with such toxins, they obtain glucosides from feeding on Birds-foot Trefoil (Lotus) so that they, themselves can use HCN as a defense.[2] However, they are capable of making HCN themselves, and when in an environment poor in cyanide-producing plants, synthesize it themselves, [1]. They are known to have mimicry complexes based on these toxins.[3]

Larvae are stout and may be flattened. A fleshy extension of the thorax covers the head. Most feed on herbaceous plants, but there are some tree-feeders. Larvae in two subfamilies, Chalcosiinae and Zygaeninae, have cavities in which they store the cyanide, and can excrete it as defensive droplets.[4]

Selected taxa

Satin-green Forester, Pollanisus viridipulverulentus, found in most of Australia (including temperate Tasmania).

Genera incertae sedis include:

  • Acoloithus
  • Harrisina
  • Pyromorpha
  • Reissita
  • Seryda
  • Tetraclonia
  • Triprocris

Pest species include:

  • Almond-tree leaf skeletonizer moth (Aglaope infausta)
  • Vine bud moth (Theresimima ampellophaga)
  • Grapeleaf Skeletonizer (Harrisina americana)

10 Species are found in the UK:

African species include:

Extinct species include:

  • See also list of zygaenid genera


  1. ^ Tarmann, G.M. "Zygaenid moths of Australia. A revision of the Australian Zygaenidae". Found at CAB Abstracts
  2. ^ The Lepidoptera: Form, function and diversity. Oxford Univ. Press.
  3. ^ Naumann, C.M., Tarmann, G.M. & Tremewan, W.G. (1999). The Western Palaearctic Zygaenidae. Apollo Books.
  4. ^ Niehuis, O., Yen, S.H., Naumann, C.M. & Misof, B. (2006). "Higher phylogeny of zygaenid moths (Insecta : Lepidoptera) inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data and the evolution of larval cuticular cavities for chemical defence." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 39(3): 812-829.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Zygaenidae — Zygaenidae, s. Widderchen …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Zygaenidae —   Zigénidos Zygaena loti …   Wikipedia Español

  • Zygaenidae — Widderchen Esparsetten Widderchen (Zygaena carniolica) Systematik Klasse: Insekten (Insecta …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zygaenidae — ? Пестрянки Пестрянка таволговая (Zygaena filipendulae) Научная классификация Царство: Животные Тип …   Википедия

  • Zygaenidae — Zygaenidae …   Wikipédia en Français

  • zygaenidae — zy·gae·ni·dae …   English syllables

  • zygaenidae — I. nəˌdē Etymology: New Latin, from Zygaena (from Greek zygaina hammerheaded shark) + idae synonym of sphyrnidae II. noun plural Usage: capitalized …   Useful english dictionary

  • СЕМ. ZYGAENIDAE - ПЕСТРЯНКИ — …   Насекомые - вредители сельского хозяйства Дальнего Востока

  • Пестрянки — (Zygaenidae, или Anthroceridae)         семейство дневных или сумеречных бабочек. Крылья в размахе до 5 см, передние обычно блестящие синие, зелёные или чёрные, с яркими красными, жёлтыми, белыми пятнами (отсюда название), у некоторых П.… …   Большая советская энциклопедия

  • Пестрянки — (Zygaenidae) семейство бабочек. Небольшие, ярко окрашенные дневные бабочки с утолщенными перед концом усиками, толстым волосистым телом, узкими длинными передними и маленькими овальными, снабженными прицепкой задними крыльями, которые в покое… …   Энциклопедический словарь Ф.А. Брокгауза и И.А. Ефрона

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”