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Plume Moth (Hellinsia homodactyla)


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



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Image Credit: Arch Baker
Full-sized image of the Plume-Moth Thumbnail image of the Plume-Moth
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Image Credit: Arch Baker
Full-sized image #2 of the Plume-Moth Thumbnail image #2 of the Plume-Moth

The distinct T-shaped body of the Plume Moth has it looking like a primitive model airplane more than a moth.



Updated: 09/25/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A Plume Moth's narrow body and tightly collapsed wings create a unique 'T' shape. When spread, the wings have the appearance of a bird's plume of feathers and when at rest, the moth rolls both wings into a rod shape. It makes for an unusual profile. When perched, the moth almost resembles a vintage propeller airplane.

Plume Moths are members of the Micromoth Family and their diminutive size acknowledges that. Like other moths, Plume Moths are most active at night, but they can also be seen near pollen sources during the day. Adults drink flower nectar. Larvae roll leaves and then eat through them. They also bore into the stems of plants, which harms the plant and makes the caterpillar a bit of a garden pest.




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




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Pterophoridae
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          Genus: Hellinsia
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            Species: homodactyla
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Hellinsia homodactyla
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 50mm (0.23" to 1.96")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: White; gray
Descriptors: T, flying, cross, tee, feathery, skinny
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 6mm (0.2in) and 50mm (2.0in)
Lo: 6mm
Md: 28mm
Hi: 50mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
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State of Maine graphic
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State of Minnesota graphic
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State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
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 Plume 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 Plume Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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