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Waterlily Leafcutter Moth (Elophila obliteralis)


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



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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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Waterlily Leafcutter Moths are aquatic in nature, a less common habitat for a larva with an atypical host plant.



Updated: 08/27/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Waterlilies are plants that grow and thrive on the shores on ponds and lakes. The larvae of the Waterlily Leafcutter Moth feed on the leaves of these wet, slippery plants as well as pondweed, water hyacinth, water lettuce, and bright green duckweed that floats on the surface. This host plant's habitat means that adult moths are seen above or near areas where waterlilies grow. Males are much darker than females. Almost black, the white spots on the sides of the male's forewings are less obvious on the tan-colored female.





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




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Crambidae
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          Genus: Elophila
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            Species: obliteralis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Elophila obliteralis
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 22mm (0.39" to 0.86")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, white, tan
Descriptors: multicolored, gold spots, flying
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 22mm (0.9in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 16mm
Hi: 22mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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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 Waterlily Leafcutter 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 Waterlily Leafcutter Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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