Brighton’s Epiblema Moth

2024 January 7

Here’s another moth from our porch light on July 2, 2023. It’s another smallish moth, maybe half an inch long, that appears to be largely disguising itself as a bird dropping.

I decided to give Google Lens a shot at this one too, and its best suggestion was the Brighton’s Epiblema, Epiblema brightonana. Checking the other moths in this genus on BugGuide, I agree that it is most likely this particular species.

If it is in fact this species, it is interesting because BugGuide does not have any previous specimens of Epiblema brightonana from the state of Michigan (the closest previous report was from Wisconsin). So, I submitted these, and we will see if the moth experts at BugGuide agree with me. This would represent the extreme northern part of the range for this species, and may indicate that they are currently expanding their range northward. Considering that we have had some unusually warm winters for the last decade or so, this would not be surprising.

This is another one of the Tortricidae, or “leafrollers”. I am not seeing a lot of information about what caterpillars in this family eat specifically, probably because no one has yet comprehensively collected caterpillars, noted their food plants, and then reared them to adulthood to see which of the nearly 1400 species of North American Tortricidae it turns out to be. So, the caterpillars of this moth might eat just about anything.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. January 15, 2024

    That’s a pretty homely moth. If I was Brighton, I’d look for another one.

    In all seriousness, it sounds like the perfect project for you and the kids!

    “I am not seeing a lot of information about what caterpillars in this family eat specifically, probably because no one has yet comprehensively collected caterpillars, noted their food plants, and then reared them to adulthood to see which of the nearly 1400 species of North American Tortricidae it turns out to be.”

  2. January 25, 2024

    That poor moth probably gets teased by all the other moths, given it’s angry bucktoothed face (which lead me on a fruitless google search to see what it might eat as an adult, with that bushy mouth).

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