October 6, 2014

Many Plumed Moth: Alucita

This tiny moth was found on the wall of our house. It may not look so camouflaged, but it was so small that it really blended in well in the shadow of a crack. I passed it without seeing it the first time even though I was looking for moths.

photo taken August 2014

Common Name: a type of Many Plumed Moth
Scientific Name: Alucita
     Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
          Phylum: Anthropoda (Anthropods)
               Subphylum: Hexapoda (Hexapods)
                    Class: Insecta (Insects)
                         Order: Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
                              Superfamily: Alucitoidea
                                   Family: Alucitidae (Many Plumed Moths)
                                        Genus: Alucita
Other Facts: The larvae feed on honeysuckle and snowberry, and bore into their fruit, flowers, buds or stems. These moths are unusual because of their feather-like plumes, six per wing for a total of 24.

There was only one known species of the Alucita in North America until 2004 when two new species were identified. I'm not sure what the difference is in the three North American species so can't identify them specifically.

This moth found its way into our 3rd floor apartment.
photo taken September 2014

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