Metallic Coleophora Moth

2021 April 18

This rather striking little moth came to our porch light on July 5, 2020. Its brassy metallic sheen was pretty eye-catching.


It was only about half an inch long and very thin, so pretty small as moths go. The antennae have white tips, and the legs have spikes sticking out of the joints.


This looks like a Metallic Coleophora, Coleophora mayrella. They get photographed more frequently than other moths of their size because of their distinctive coloration, and they are quite common. Incidentally, while this one stands out nicely on our house siding, I expect that if it was down in the grass it would be a lot harder to spot, especially since a lot of grass seeds are also a bit glossy and shiny.

These are a variety of “casebearer” moth, where the caterpillar makes a silk case that it carries around to hide in. The caterpillars eat the seeds of clover, particularly white clover. Since clover seed is not a massive cash crop, these moths don’t have a lot of economic impact. And so, aside from being pretty, it doesn’t look like they get much attention otherwise.

2 Responses
  1. Carole permalink
    April 18, 2021

    Looks like it would be at home in Vegas

  2. May 7, 2021

    … or on the red carpet in Hollywood.

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