The well-distributed pale Little White Lichen Moth feeds on the symbiotic organism it is named after.
Little White Lichen Moths are indeed white, but they are also peppered with gray and black flecks that form two separate makeshift lines across the wings; one above and one below the middle of the wings. Pale brown shading streaks down the wings. A black crescent mark sits along the lower line, slightly closer to the outer edge of each forewing. A black and white checkered fringe runs the bottoms of the wings.
Lichens are part fungus and part algae. They are commonly found slowly growing on the sides of stones, boulders, and tree trunks. The Little White Lichen Moth caterpillar feeds off the lichen, thanks to the algal component. It also eats the algae as it grows alone, but because it is often seen on the lichen, the name stuck.
This moth can be found all over the continent in areas where lichens and algae grow. Woodlands, forests, and parks are great places to look for them. They fly only during the warmest parts of the year within their range. This means they are around much longer in the warmer southern states than in northern states and provinces.
Scientific Name: Clemensia albata
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 13mm (0.35in to 0.51in)
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.