Scientific name: Creatonotus (= Phalaena) gangis (= interruptus) Linnaeus

Common name: Hairy caterpillar, Tiger moth

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Hairy caterpillar Creatonotus gangis Linnaeus

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Feeding damage of hairy caterpillars

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Pupae of hairy caterpillars

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Pupa of hairy caterpillar is protected by hairs from the shed larval skin

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Adult moth of hairy caterpillar

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Golden eggs of hairy caterpillar




Class Insecta
Order Lepidoptera
Family Arctiidae

Economic importance:

The insect is not an important pest of rice. It is not commonly found in rice environment.

Geographical distribution:

South and Southeast Asia


The eggs are spherical in shape. They are golden-yellow.

The larva is large, blackish, and covered by long hairs. The head is marked with white color. The body has a yellow dorsal stripe with series of spots.

Fresh pupae are light brown in color and eventually turn dark brown with age.

The moths have stout body. They have pinkish-red abdomen with black transverse median band located dorsally. The lateral sides have two longitudinal rows of paired black spots. Their front wings are brownish-white to pinkish-white in color with a broad transverse black band at the center. A pair of gray spots is found at the terminal area of the white hindwings.


The larva defoliates the plant. Whole plant can be eaten leaving only the stem bases of the host plant.

Biology and Ecology

On rice plant, each female deposits 6 to 47 individual eggs in rows on the leaf. Egg incubation is 4-5 days. There are five larval instars observed in 20-23 days. Prior to pupation, a two-day prepupation period is observed. Pupation takes 8-9 days. The adult moths can live until 12 days. The total developmental period from egg to adult takes about 37 days.

Host range

In a greenhouse experiment in the Philippines, it feeds on grasses, sedges and broadleaves. The plant hosts are rice, Leptochloa chinensis (L.) Nees, maize, Echinochloa colona (L.) Link, E. glabrescens Munro ex Hook f., Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn., Isachne globosa L., Paspalum scrobiculatum L., P. conjugatum Berg., Leersia hexandra Sw., Brachiaria mutica (Forsk..) Stapf., B. distachya (L.) Stapf., Chloris barbata Sw., Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv., Cyperus kyllingia Endl., C. brevifolius (Rottb.) Hassk., C. iria L., C. rotundus L., Fimbristylis miliacea (L.), and Commelina diffusa Burm. F., coffee, groundnut, and lucerne.

Detection and Inspection

The adult is easily recognized because of its color and marking. The larva is easily seen from the plant because of its long black hairs covering the body.


No control measures for the insect is available.

Selected references

Anonymous. (1977). Creatonotus gangis L. a pest on rice in Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Agric. J. 24(3 & 4).

Barrion, A.T. and J.A. Litsinger. (1994). Taxonomy of Rice Insect Pests and Their Arthropod parasites and Predators. In Biology and management of Rice Insects. International Rice Research Institute, P.O. Box 933, 1099 Manila, Philippines. pp. 13-362.

Catindig, J.L.A., A.T. Barrion, and J.A. Litsinger. (1993). Developmental biology and host range of rice-feeding tiger moth Creatonotus gangis (L.). International Rice Research Newsletter 18(3):34-35.

Fletcher, T.B. (1914). Some South Indian Insects and Other Animals of Importance. Jayyed Press, Ballimaren, Delhi. 565 p.

Shepard, B.M., A.T. Barrion, and J.A. Litsinger. (1995). Rice-Feeding Insects of Tropical Asia. International Rice Research Institute, P.O. Box 933, 1099 Manila, Philippines. 228 p.