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  • Himmelman's Plume Moth - (Geina tenuidactyla)

    Himmelman's Plume Moth - (Geina tenuidactyla)

    The T-shaped Himmelman's Plume Moth is a small wonder. Spiky legs and a T-shaped stance are hallmarks of this unusual moth.

    Picture of Himmelman's Plume Moth
    Staff Writer (7/18/2014): Himmelman's Plume Moths have many distinct physical features helping observers make an identification. The long antennae are checkered black and white. The wings sit at a perpendicular angle to the abdomen, creating a capital 'T' shape when at rest on a leaf. The bottom edge of the wings are fringed with thin, feathery hairs (called a plume). The legs have dark tufts of hair at some of the joints. In addition, the legs have long, slender 'thorns' or 'spikes' growing out at perpendicular angles. These 'thorns' are most obvious on the back legs that are closest to the abdomen. Despite all of these unique characteristics, Himmelman's Plume Moth may still be mistaken for a mosquito when in flight, or as dead, thorny plant matter when at rest.

    Caterpillar larvae are green and covered with small yellow hairs. They feed on blackberry and raspberry bushes as well as dogbane.

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    Details of the:
    Himmelman's Plume Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Himmelman's Plume Moth
    Scientific Name: Geina tenuidactyla
    Other Names: Berry Plume Moth

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Pterophoridae
           Genus: Geina
            Species: tenuidactyla

    Size (Adult, Length): 5mm to 10mm (0.20in to 0.39in)

    Identifying Colors: brown, white, ivory, yellow, black

    Additional Descriptors: hairy, spiky, T-shaped, skinny, long, tubular, feathery, flying

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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