An uncommon shape makes the Grape Plume Moth easy to recognize when it is near its favorite host vine.
Plume Moths look like they are covered with bird feathers instead of hairs. They tend to rest with their slender wings sticking out from the sides of the body at a right angle, perpendicular to the body. This gives them a T-shape when seen from overhead. The Grape Plume Moth is an orange-brown color and has white lines and white spots embellishing it. The abdomen is exposed in its resting position as are the back pairs of legs. Legs have flared out tufts of hairs at the joints and have a spiky appearance.
The green caterpillar is covered in thin white hairs and eats grapevine leaves. They also eat Virginia creeper, a native vine. The newly hatched larva rolls a leaf and hides inside it while chewing the upper layer. As it matures, it may move onto other parts of the vine, like the stem. This species is not a commercial threat to vineyards and rarely reaches serious pest status, but it is a common sight among grapevines.
Scientific Name: Geina periscelidactylus
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 16mm to 20mm (0.62in to 0.78in)
Colors: brown; orange; white
Descriptors: pest; t shape; T wings; spiky legs; white bands; flying; narrow; skinny; thin
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.