Friday, 14 September 2007

Plume Moths

One of the families of moths that I find fascinating is the Pterophoridae or Plume moths. They are all small and at first sight don't really look like moths at all. At the moment there are two that are appearing in my garden, the one above is called Amblyptilia punctidactyla and has a wingspan of about 20mm. The larvae feed on the flowers and unripe seeds of hedge woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) and a number of other herbaceous plants. The intricate pattern has to be seen through a lens to appreciate its complexity.

Emmelina monodactyla, above, is the commonest of the family and adults can be found in every month. The larvae feed on bindweeds. The adult appears like a small T shaped twig and is a little bigger than the last species with a span of about 25mm.

Platyptilia pallidactyla occurs earlier in the year, being on the wing in June and July. The food plant is Yarrow and possibly also tansy.


The White Plume Moth Pterophorus pentadactyla, is the most distinctive of the "plume moths" with the wings divided into several feathery parts. It is a common moth flying in June and July with a second generation in September. It is another bindweed feeder.

1 comment:

Sally Crawford said...

Gorgeous pics of flora and fauna; how clever of you to get the moth to feather out its wings like that.

I had a bright green one in my kitchen and since it is a kitchen located just down the road from Oxford Street I was hard put to identify it until NiC on London Daily Nature Photo (http://www.londondailynaturephoto.co.uk/) came to my rescue.

This adds even more information to the wonder that is natural form.