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Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Hepialidae
Genus: Thitarodes
Viette, 1968

See text.

  • Forkalus Chu and Wang, 1985

Thitarodes is a genus of moths of the family Hepialidae. In English Thitarodes is known as "ghost moth". They are found in eastern Asia. The majority are restricted to the Tibetan Plateau. Often in Chinese entomological nomenclature Thitarodes is still referred to as Hepialus, although the name was changed back in 1968. Furthermore, some authors use incorrectly the term "bat moth" which is a bad translation of the Chinese term for ghost moth.

Many larvae of this genus are the hosts to the parasitic fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis. The fungus-insect complex known as caterpillar fungus, or by its original Tibetan name yartsa gunbu (or its Nepali pidgin version yarsa gumba). It was first used in traditional Tibetan medicine, but is now highly prized by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine who know it as dong chong xiacao or short chong cao.



Former species



  • Wang X-L, Yao Y-J (2011) Host insect species of Ophiocordyceps sinensis: a review. ZooKeys 127: 43–59.