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Moth September 2008-3.jpg
A male pine processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa)
Scientific classification

Thaumetopoeidae is a small family of moths in the order Lepidoptera.[1] The genera in this family have been historically treated as a subfamily within Notodontidae (Thaumetopoeinae), and this subfamily has been raised to the family status.[2]

The etymology of the family name derives from the two ancient greek words θαυματόεις (thaumatóeis), marvelous, and ποιέω (poiéō), to do, and literally means showing beautiful things.[3][4] This explains why the name is sometimes spelled Thaumatopoeidae, incorrectly from the taxonomic standpoint, but in accordance with etymology.

The larval stage of some Thaumetopoeidae are known as processionary caterpillars, so named because they move in columns in search of food, resembling a procession.[5] Some of the species, like the pine and oak processionaries, can constitute a health hazard due to their urticating hairs.

Caterpillars of the pine processionary (Thaumetopoea pityocampa)

Genera and some species[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kiriakoff, Serge G. (1970-01-01). Lepidoptera: Familia Thaumetopoeidae. Genera insectorum. 219. Anvers: Mercurius.
  2. ^ J.S., Miller, (1991-01-01). "Cladistics and classification of the Notodontidae (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea) based on larval and adult morphology". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. ISSN 0003-0090.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  3. ^ Bailly, Anatole (1981-01-01). Abrégé du dictionnaire grec français. Paris: Hachette. ISBN 2010035283. OCLC 461974285.
  4. ^ Bailly, Anatole. "Greek-french dictionary online". Retrieved 2017-01-07.
  5. ^ "Amazing caterpillar parade spotted marching around Australia - Trending Now - AccuWeather Videos". August 23, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.