White Plume Moth

2012 March 28

This moth was on our house siding on July 16, 2011.

Those long wings held in a T-shape are pretty distinctive, this is certainly a plume moth, in the family Pterophoridae. Unfortunately, it is one of the white ones.

There are evidently a bunch of species of white plume moths, so identifying it beyond the family is hard. I’ve had it up on BugGuide for many months now, and nobody has taken a stab at it (and the numerous other white plume moth specimens on BugGuide aren’t identified beyond the family, either!)

Anyway, the white ones are pretty easy to spot when they are on the wall of a building, but are actually pretty well camouflaged if they are in dead grass. They look an awful lot like a piece of windblown chaff.

The caterpillars tend to be leaf-rollers, and so aren’t usually seen unless you make a habit of unrolling rolled-up plant leaves.

4 Responses
  1. March 28, 2012


    Like Mr. Miyagi said, “Against this, is no defense!”

  2. March 28, 2012

    You have the most alien creatures in your back yard.
    I’ve never seen anything so airplane like in Alberta and I hope to god I never do.
    This is monstrous.


  3. April 2, 2012

    i have seen something similar like this, and took a photo of it.
    Here is the link : http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x340/fatich00/Diger%20bortu%20bocek/DSC05363.jpg

  4. April 2, 2012

    Julie: I’m sure that you have these in Alberta, there are a bunch of species and they are all over North America. Although from the sound of things, maybe you don’t actually want to know that!

    Fatich: Nice picture!

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