Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




Regional Maps


Compiler and date details

E.D. (Ted) Edwards

  • Saturniidae Boisduval, 1837.
  • Attacidae Blanchard, 1840.



The first Australian Saturniidae was described by White (1843) which is surprisingly long after first settlement (1788) for such large showy moths.

The family was revised by Turner (1922b) and included in Seitz's Macrolepidoptera of the World by Seitz (1926, 1928), and the literature was listed in Lepidopterorum Catalogus by Schüssler (1933-1935). A world revision of the Saturniidae was published by Bouvier (1936) and the genus Attacus Linnaeus was revised in detail by Peigler (1989). The revision by Turner (1922b) with some of the generic groupings introduced by Bouvier (1936) for the basis of the Checklist.

Excellent illustrations fo the early stages of Opodiphthera eucalypti (Scott) were published by Scott (1864), and Common (1990) provided a modern outline of some of the Australian species.

The Saturniidae are poorly represented in Australia with 13 species and 6 genera. One of these (Samia Hübner) was introduced many years ago but has probably died out since. Species of Opodiphthera Wallengren are found throughout the continent but Neodiphthera Fletcher, Attacus Linnaeus and Coscinocera Butler are found only in tropical rainforests.

The generic position of some Australian species is in some doubt and relationships with some Oriental genera are unclear. There are several well-known but undescribed species but these should not described without a thorough revision of the groups to which they belong or in order to make detailed biological information available.


General References

Bouvier, E.-L. 1936. Étude des Saturnioïdes normaux. Famille des Saturniidés. Mémoires du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris [1936-1950] N.S. 3(1): 1-354, pls 1-12

Common, I.F.B. 1990. Moths of Australia. Carlton : Melbourne University Press vi+535 pp., 32 pls.

Peigler, R.S. 1989. A revision of the Indo-Australian genus Attacus. Beverly Hills : The Lepidoptera Reseach Foundation xi+167 pp.

Schüssler, H. 1935. Saturniidae. Lepidopterorum Catalogus 65: 485-769 (1933-1935)

Schüssler, H. 1935. Saturniidae. Lepidopterorum Catalogus 58: 325-484 (1933-1935)

Schüssler, H. 1935. Saturniidae. Lepidopterorum Catalogus 55: 1-81 (1933-1935)

Schüssler, H. 1935. Saturniidae. Lepidopterorum Catalogus 56: 85-324 (1933-1935)

Scott, A.W. 1864. Australian Lepidoptera and their transformations, drawn from the life by Harriet and Helena Scott. 1. London : John van Voorst [ii]+36 pp., pls 1-9.

Seitz, A. 1928. Saturniidae, Emperor-Moths. Pp. 497-520, pls 53-56 in Seitz, A. (ed.). The Macrolepidoptera of the World. 10. Bombyces and Sphinges of the Indo-Australian Region. 2 vols. Stuttgart : Alfred Kernen Verlag 909 pp., 100 pls. [year of publication not confirmed]

Turner, A.J. 1922. Revision of Australian Lepidoptera. Saturniadae, Bombycidae, Eupterotidae, Notodontidae. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 47: 348-390 [Date published 15 Dec. 1922]

White, A. 1843. Descriptions of apparently new species and varieties of insects and other annulosa, principally from the collection in the British Museum. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 12: 342-346


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
20-Feb-2018 MODIFIED