The white Plume Moths Insect, Pterophorus pentadactyla from Europe, is probably the most distinctive of the Plume Moths Insect and one of the largest. Its wings are deeply divided into several “fingers,” each of which is finely feathered, or plumed.
Plume Moths Insect Wingspan 1-1.3 inches (2.5-3.4 cm). Platyptilia gonodactyla is found in the Northern Hemisphere. Its wingspan is about the same as the white plume moth.
Plume Moths Insect Facts:
- Common name: Plume moths
- Family: Pterophoridae
- Order: Lepidoptera
- Class/Subphylum: Insecta/Hexapoda
- Number of species: Over 600 (146 US)
- Wingspan: 0.5 in (13 mm) to 1.6 in (4 cm)
Key features: Color usually white or pale brown, sometimes marked with darker brown or black; wings long and narrow; forewings generally deeply notched; hind wings usually deeply divided into 3 feathery plumes; wings rolled around each other at rest and held at right angles to the body, forming a “t”‘-shape; legs long and slender, usually spiky
Habits: Adults found mostly sitting around on leaves or flowers; flight weak and fluttering; most species nocturnal, but some active by day
Breeding: Females lay eggs in plants; larvae mainly live externally on plants; some live within rolled leaves or bore into plant tissues; pupa may be suspended by silken cremaster or lie on the ground, protected by a cocoon
Diet: Adults feed on flowers; caterpillars eat plants of many Families, especially the daisy family
Habitat: Found in all habitats from coastal salt marshes to mountainsides, deserts, forest, and backyards
Distribution: Worldwide except in regions with extreme or