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Giant butterfly-moths and sun moths
Paysandisia archon MHNT Fronton dos.jpg
Paysandisia archon
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Sesioidea
Family: Castniidae
Boisduval, 1828
Subfamilies & genera

Aee text

Castniidae, or castniid moths, is a small family of moths with fewer than 200 species: The majority are Neotropical with some in Australia and a few in south-east Asia. These are medium-sized to very large moths, usually with drab, cryptically-marked forewings and brightly coloured hindwings. They have clubbed antennae and are day flying, and are often mistaken for butterflies. Indeed, some previous classification systems placed this family within the butterflies or skippers. The Neotropical species are commonly known as giant butterfly-moths, the Australian and Asian species as sun moths. The larvae are internal feeders, often on roots of epiphytes or on monocotyledons (Edwards et al., 1999: 184-188).


Subfamily Castniinae

Subfamily Tascininae

Subfamily incertae sedis


  • Edwards, E.D., Gentili, P., Horak, M., Kristensen, N.P. and Nielsen, E.S. (1999). The cossoid/sesioid assemblage. Ch. 11, pp. 181–195 in Kristensen, N.P. (Ed.). Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies. Volume 1: Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography. Handbuch der Zoologie. Eine Naturgeschichte der Stämme des Tierreiches / Handbook of Zoology. A Natural History of the phyla of the Animal Kingdom. Band / Volume IV Arthropoda: Insecta Teilband / Part 35: 491 pp. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York.

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