Project Noah

Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.

Join Project Noah Today

Mottled Cup Moth (♂)

Doratifera vulnerans


Exactly seven months after watching this little guy and his siblings wrap himself into beautiful silk cups, he has finally emerged with a new purpose in life. He is about 30mm long and very furry with beautiful tones of copper, bronze, cream and brown. Feathery antennae but no labial palps or other visible mouth parts.


Originally on eucalyptus in suburban garden but because his siblings were raided by some unknown predator this one was brought inside the house for winter.


The spectacular caterpillar which turned into this moth can be seen feeding here and building it's cup here Although I didn't notice it actually leaving the cup I maust have been there within minutes to see him fly off towards the light. I particularly like the rectangular net pattern these have on their forewings. It's hard to imagine why nature might evolve such a pattern - squares seem so 'unnatural' on the big scale. Also known as 'Chinese junk' and 'Mottled cupmoth" more info can be found here

No species ID suggestions


joshuaknutson 6 years ago

Nice photo

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 6 years ago

What a fantastic experience ! so pleased for you argybee. His wings always remind me of a peanut shell -he's left behind a lot of mess hasn't he ?. Anyway, this demonstrates how wonderful nature is... will have to wait for Martin's.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Thanks for the comments everyone. Martin I guess I would still need to find a pair mating and follow some eggs to complete this circle - but wouldn't that be wonderful.

MartinL 6 years ago

It's always satisfying to see the life cycle completed.
I saw one emerge last year
Mine is not out yet but watch this space, I guess.

Wild Things
Wild Things 6 years ago

Great spotting and info!

Congratulations Argy Bee!

DanielePralong 6 years ago

Beautiful in all its forms!

ceherzog 6 years ago

Fantastic! The larva was very cool. You must feel a bit like a proud papa.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Thanks Yuko. Chun the only sibling left intact is with martinl. The others got attacked by something.

YukoChartraw 6 years ago

So cute <3

ChunXingWong 6 years ago

6 months is really a long time.
Are his siblings out yet ?

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Thanks J. I was just beginning to think this one was a gonner then got woken in the middle of the night by a fluttering sound. :))) Thanks for the favourites kf4daw and Keith.

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 6 years ago

Amazing spotting! I love the pinkish shimmer!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Martinl please check your cup !?

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Lat: -37.90, Long: 145.31

Spotted on Oct 18, 2012
Submitted on Oct 18, 2012

Related spottings

Mottled Cup Moth Mottled Cup Moth Caterpillar Cupmoth pupal case Four-spotted Cup Moth Caterpillar

Nearby spottings

Picture wing fly? Ghost Shrimp Hyalarcta nigrescens Athel Tree