Home / Lappet Moths (Lasiocampidae) / Lackey Moth (Malacosoma neustria)

Lackey Moth (Malacosoma neustria)

The lackey moth is a member of the family of lappet moths. Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus first described this moth in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae.

Lackey Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Lasiocampidae
  • Genus: Malacosoma
  • Scientific Name: Malacosoma neustria

Description and Identification


The larvae are covered with bright orange, white and blue stripes, around 4-5.5 cm when fully mature. They prepare silken tents to regulate temperature.

Lackey Moth Caterpillar


Lackey Moth Larvae



When caterpillars are ready to pupate, they fall to the ground and undergo metamorphosis. They form a pupa between the leaves of the host plants.

Lackey Moth Pupa


Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

When the wings are opened, they appear to be a uniform color, either yellowish-orange or brown. There are two dark crossed lines over its wingspan. When the wings are closed, the colors remain visible.

Average wingspan: 2.5 – 3 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: June to August

Malacosoma neustria



The eggs of these moths tend to be laid in ring-like bands.

Lackey Moth Eggs


Quick Facts

DistributionAsia, North Africa, and Europe
HabitatBushy grasslands, coppices, hedgerows, road verges, and woodlands
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsApple, hornbeam, lime, oak, pear, plum, and willow
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • There are three sub-species of these moths – Malacosoma neustria neustria, Malacosoma neustria flavescens, and Malacosoma neustria formosana.
Lackey Moth Image


Lackey Moth Picture


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