The smooth, satiny wings of Diaphania costata are edged in a golden hem that gleams in the light.
A virtual twin for Kimball's Palpita Moth, Diaphania costata is also a member of the Snout-nose Moth family, Crambidae. The elongated nose has an orange burnish, sitting directly between two large round eyes that rest on either side of the narrow, white head. White forewings have a soft sheen and are thin enough to almost see through. They lack marks and patterns save for the thick, rounded gold front edge. This metallic line stretches from the body to the tip of the wings. The abdomen is completely white with the same satiny luster and a clean white fringe borders the bottom edges of all wings. White legs have orange color at the 'knee' joint and may or may not have orange bands on the feet.
The larvae feed on plants like bluestar, star jasmine, and vinca, often ruining their ornamental appearance. Though Diaphania costata has made a home in the Deep South and surrounding states, this species is originally from more subtropical, southern countries. It seems to share a range similar to its look-a-like, Kimball's Palpita.
Scientific Name: Diaphania costata
Other Name(s): White Palpita Moth
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 30mm (0.78in to 1.17in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.