Trictena atripalpis

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Trictena atripalpis
Trictena atripalpis.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Hepialidae
Genus: Trictena
T. atripalpis
Binomial name
Trictena atripalpis
(Walker, 1856)
  • Pielus atripalpis Walker, 1856
  • Trictena argentata
two brown and white moths on a man's hand, approximately as long as the palm is wide
On a man's hand

Trictena atripalpis, also known as bardee (bardy, bardi) grub, rain moth or waikerie is a moth of the family Hepialidae. It is found in the whole southern half of Australia.


The rain moth is found right across southern Australia in woodland areas alongside creeks and gullies, especially near eucalyptus trees.[1]


The caterpillar is used extensively by fishermen as bait.[1] This is where the common name "bardee", "bardi", "badee", or "bargi grub" is derived from. This name is also used for the larva of the beetle Bardistus cibarius, Cerambycid species, as well as various ground dwelling and wood boring moth larvae.[2]

The larvae live in tunnels,[1] feeding on Casuarina pauper and Eucalyptus species, especially Eucalyptus camaldulensis.[2] They are herbivores.[1]


The other common name, "rain moth", stems from the fact that adults often emerge after rain, typically in autumn,[2] leaving the empty pupal cases sticking up out of the ground.[1]

The wingspan is up to 120 millimetres (4.7 in) for males and 170 millimetres (6.7 in) for females. The moths have fawn wings[clarification needed] with two silver flash markings across each forewing.[2] They can be the same size as a small insectivorous bat, and owls often prey on them.[1]

The body reaches a length of 120mm also.[3]

The adult females produce a great number (up to 40,000) of eggs, which are scattered while flying.[1][2] Their flight months are April to June.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h NRM Education (Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board). Natural Resources, Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges: Creature features2013 – 2019. Government of South Australia. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License
  2. ^ a b c d e Don Herbison-Evans & Stella Crossley (26 May 2008). "Trictena atripalpis". Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2009.
  3. ^