Home / Prominent Moths (Notodontidae) / Lobster Moth (Stauropus fagi)

Lobster Moth (Stauropus fagi)

Lobster moth of the Notodontidae family has an extensive range. It inhabits the entire Palearctic realm excepting the northern part of Africa and certain regions of Siberia situated within the Ob River and Lake Baikal region. The reason behind its name is the somewhat odd appearance of the caterpillar that closely resembles a lobster.

Lobster Moth

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Scientific Classification


  • Family: Notodontidae
  • Genus: Stauropus
  • Scientific Name: Stauropus fagi

Description and Identification

Caterpillar

In their first and second instar stage, the larva mimics an ant in its appearance and behavior. Their long legs, and swollen anal region, are quite ant-like, displaying a similar violent movement when attacked or disturbed. In the later instar stages, they develop a large-sized head, long thoracic eggs, swollen anal segment, and raised humps from their fourth to seventh segments. On average, the larva is 7 cm long with a reddish-brown body that helps them camouflage with their surroundings when at rest.

Lobster Moth Caterpillar

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Lobster Moth Larvae

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Pupa

The pupa is about 2.54 cm long with a glossy, dark brown appearance, encased within a silken cocoon, tan in color.

Lobster Moth Pupa

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Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Not prominent

However, those seen near light sources are possibly males since they are more attracted to well-lit areas than the latter.

Color and Appearance

Forewings: When opened, the forewings appear grayish or greenish-brown with two crossbands running through them, though not prominently visible. When closed, the color is the same, though the crossbands are not visible then.

Hindwings: When opened and closed, the color of the hindwings is similar to the forewings, minus the bands and markings.

Average Wingspan: 4.5 – 6 cm

Flight Pattern: Not recorded

Season: May – August

Stauropus fagi

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Eggs

The eggs are round and brown with a glazed appearance. They are mostly kept at the tip of the host plant’s leaves.

Lobster Moth Eggs

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Quick Facts

Other NamesLobster prominent
DistributionThroughout the Palearctic realm except for northern Africa and parts of Siberia
HabitatMostly in deciduous woodlands
PredatorsNot recorded
Lifespan of Adults6 weeks
Host PlantsMaple, birch, hornbeams, chestnuts, hazel, wingnuts, willows, beech, birch, oak, lime trees
Adult DietNot recorded

Did You Know

  • When threatened by its predators, the caterpillar spreads its legs and arches its head back over its body as a defense mechanism.
  • Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus described it first in his book the 10th edition of Systema Naturae.
Lobster Moth Image

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Lobster Prominent

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Lobster Moth Picture

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