The African Phiala are a species rich genus, with at least 45 members. All small to medium sized, all white or cream in color with more or less black scales, lines, dots or markings. They occur pretty much everywhere in sub-Saharan Africa as far south as South Africa. Correctly identifying a Phiala is quite the challenge.  Few members are named immediately on first sight. 

The caterpillars may not be very large, but they make up for that with their beautiful appearance. These hairy caterpillars are usually colorful, although not always easy to rear. The grass feeding species are not too difficult, but when they need another plant it rapidly becomes less easy. For some species I never found a suitable European alternative (for example nigrolineata). Growth is usually on the slower side with a caterpillar stage of three months and only one flight per year.