Book – Caterpillars, Moths And Their Plants of southern Australia


‘CATERPILLARS, MOTHS AND THEIR PLANTS of southern Australia’, by McQuillan, Forrest, Keane and Grund. 1st Edition 2019.  Butterfly Conservation SA Inc. Adelaide South Australia, 196pp, RRP $35.00.

Back in the 1990s we asked “Where have all the butterflies gone?” Without caterpillars there are no butterflies and many birds and animals will starve. This is our Web of Life. Butterflies and moths are also very important for pollination of plants, as this is not just a province of native bees and European honeybees.

Due to popular demand the Butterfly Conservation SA has published the 1st edition of   CATERPILLARS, MOTHS AND THEIR PLANTS of southern Australia’. This book showcases 280 species of southern Australia’s moths, with over 650 photographs of eggs, caterpillars, pupae and adult moths. Native and introduced plants associated with each moth species are listed, noting their importance as food for caterpillars and highlighting the need to conserve remaining habitat and their biota.

Sophie Thomson, the well-respected presenter of ABC’s Gardening Australia, has enjoyed her association with Butterfly Conservation SA. Ms Thomson said, “This is the perfect companion book to Attracting Butterflies to your Garden and together these two books are a valuable resource to help you identify the caterpillars, moths and butterflies in your garden, as well as the food plants you should plant to attract more. It will also help you understand their life cycle and, as is mostly the case, their important role within a biodiverse environment.”

Butterfly Conservation SA has brought expert scientists, enthusiasts, gardeners and ecologists together to bring information about moths to the home gardener. Butterfly and moth gardening is easily achievable in Adelaide gardens, no matter their size.

This is a delightful book for the gardener who will be surprised at how many garden plants can support the local moth community and how they help sustain urban biodiversity and maintain a food supply for other native animals.

Retail outlets in SA where CATERPILLARS, MOTHS AND THEIR PLANTS of southern Australia’ can be purchased.

  • SA Museum Shop on North Terrace;
  • Diggers Seeds in the Botanic Gardens;
  • State Flora nursery in Belair National Park;
  • Dillons Norwood Bookshop;
  • Dymocks Rundle Mall;
  • Imprints Booksellers, Hindley Street, Adelaide;
  • Matildas Bookshop, Stirling;
  • Mostly Books at Mitcham;
  • Nature Education Centre at Urrbrae HS;
  • Sophies Patch, Mt Barker;
  • ZoosSA Bookshop, Frome Road, Adelaide.

In Tasmania this book is available at the following outlets:

  • Fullers Bookshop, 131 Collins St, Hobart;
  • TMAG Bookshop, Dunn Pl, Hobart; and
  • Hobart Bookshop, 22 Salamanca Square, Hobart.

In Victoria this book is available at:

  • Australian Plants Society (Victoria)

In Queensland this book is available at:

  • Metamorphosis Australia –

Wholesale enquiries, or customers with orders for multiple copies, of CATERPILLARS, MOTHS AND THEIR PLANTS of southern Australia’, can contact the Publications Officer on for a special price.