Dalceridae

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Dalceridae
Acraga moorei (7420640470).jpg
Acraga moorei imago
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Zygaenoidea
Family: Dalceridae
Dyar, 1898
Genera

11, see text

Synonyms

Acragidae Hampson, 1918

The Dalceridae are a small family of zygaenoid moths with some 80[verification needed] known species encompassing about one dozen genera mostly found in the Neotropical region with a few reaching the far south of the Nearctic region.

These are generally small or medium-sized moths with very hairy bodies. The larvae are rather slug-like and, along with the larvae of the sister taxa Limacodidae and Megalopygidae, are often known as slug caterpillars. More specifically, they are also called jewel caterpillars due to the colorful bead-like exoskeleton of some species.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

More than half the described species are in genus Acraga. Apart from this and Dalcerides, all genera have less than 10 known species as of 2016, and some are monotypic. Two subfamilies are usually recognized:

Subfamily Acraginae

Subfamily Dalcerinae

The genus Protacraga, formerly placed here, is now usually assigned to the related family Epipyropidae whose caterpillars are usually parasites.

References[edit]