Slug Moths (Limacodidae)

Slug moths are a tropical family of moths who resemble slugs in the larval stage, earning them the name. There are over 1800 species, with even more possibly undiscovered.

List of Moths in this Family

Description and Identification


Most slug moth larvae are green. They are relatively smooth, though some have urticating bristles which cause pain if touched.

Their bodies are flat with poorly developed legs. Locomotion involves secreting a form of liquefied silk as a lubricant.


The cocoon in which the caterpillar pupates after reaching its final instar is made of silk and hardened with calcium oxalate.

Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but nothing too significant.

Color and Appearance

When their wings are opened, they are generally brown, with white or green markings. The patterns remain visible even when the wings are closed.

Average wingspan: 1.9-3.2 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: Mid-summer


The eggs are transparent, flat, and thin. Female moths either lay them singly or in clusters.

Quick Facts

Other names Cup moths
Distribution Worldwide
Habitat Tropical environments
Lifespan of Adults A few weeks
Host Plants Trees and shrubbery like cherry, elm, hickory, linden, maple, and oak
Adult Diet Does not feed

Did You Know

  • The hag moth is similar to a bee, deterring predators from attacking it.