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Abstract Vibrational communication in hook-tip moth caterpillars is thought to be widely used and highly variable across species, but this phenomenon has been experimentally examined in only two species to date. The purpose of this study is to characterize and describe the function of vibrational signaling in a species, Oreta rosea Walker 1855 (Lepidoptera: Drepanidae), that differs morphologically from previously studied species. Caterpillars of this species produce three distinct types of vibrational signals during territorial encounters with conspecifics — mandible drumming, mandible scraping and lateral tremulation. Signals were recorded using a laser-doppler vibrometer and characterized based on temporal and spectral components. Behavioural encounters between a leaf resident and a conspecific intruder were staged to test the hypothesis that signaling functions as a territorial display. Drumming and scraping signals both involve the use of the mandibles, being hit vertically on, or scraped laterally across, the leaf surface. Lateral tremulation involves quick, short, successive lateral movements of the anterior body region that vibrates the entire leaf. Encounters result in residents signaling, with the highest rates observed when intruders make contact with the resident. Residents signal significantly more than intruders and most conflicts are resolved within 10 minutes, with residents winning 91% of trials. The results support the hypothesis that vibrational signals function to advertise leaf occupancy. Signaling is compared between species, and evolutionary origins of vibrational communication in caterpillars are discussed.