Declana atronivea (Walker, 1865)

REDUCED_NZ-Ento-Soc-Insect-Playing-Cards_Lichen-Moth RED

Common name: North Island Lichen Moth

Order: Lepidoptera      Family: Geometridae

Size: 40-45mm wingspan

While it’s clear that the Lichen moth got its name because of its lichen-like camouflage, their caterpillars keep themselves safe from predators by looking like small sticks or bird poo. Lichen moth caterpillars can be found feeding on lichen and “five-finger” while other lichen moth species (such as Declana niveata and Declana floccosa) which occur elsewhere in New Zealand feed on different plants including natives such as mānuka and beech, or even exotic plants such as pine.

If this species looks familiar it might be because a similar South Island species (Declana egregia) features on the $100 dollar note.


T.E.R:R.A.I.N Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network (Last updated 2016). Declana atronivea (North Island Lichen moth). Retrieved from