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Gracile Palpita Moth (Palpita atrisquamalis)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Gracile Palpita Moth



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Image Credit: Arch Baker, taken in TX
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A golden rope on the front edge of the Gracile Palpita Moth's forewings leads the way for golden brown flecks and smudges everywhere else.



Updated: 08/23/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A Gracile Palpita Moth looks like a dirty Diaphania costata with golden orange antennae. It is white with sheer wings that are almost transparent when stretched out flat. It has a golden bumper at the front of the forewings. White legs have patches of gold and brown, as does the white abdomen. Dark specks and smudges spread across the forewings. A large black distal spot sits in the center of each white hindwing. A faint, dark border runs along the bottom of all four wings just above a thin, dark line of dashes above the fringe.

This is a type of Snout moth. Though it appears to have a long, hairy nose, the 'snout' is actually two short palps that are held closely together. These palps give sensory information about food. The range for the Gracile Palpita Moth is mostly southwestern states in the U.S. and northern states in Mexico. Drier, warmer climates seem to agree with this unique moth.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Shiny insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Crambidae
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          Genus: Palpita
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            Species: atrisquamalis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Palpita atrisquamalis
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 13mm (0.39" to 0.51")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: white, gold, brown
Descriptors: golden wing, dirty, flying, translucent, transparent, see-through, smudges, flecks, shiny, iridescent
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 13mm (0.5in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 11.5mm
Hi: 13mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
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State of North Carolina graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
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State of Tennessee graphic
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State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
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State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Gracile Palpita Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Gracile Palpita Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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