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funeralis or maculalis

Grape Leaffolder - Desmia Crambid Snout Moth - Desmia Grape Leaffolder - Desmia Moth - Desmia Grape Leaffolder Moth  - Hodges #5159 - Desmia - female Grape Leaf Folder? - Desmia Desmia funeralis vs Desmia maculalis - Desmia Virginia creeper caterpillar - Desmia
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
No Taxon (Moths)
Superfamily Pyraloidea
Family Crambidae (Crambid Snout Moths)
Subfamily Pyraustinae
Tribe Spilomelini
Genus Desmia
No Taxon funeralis or maculalis
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Desmia funeralis (Hübner)
Desmia maculalis Westwood, 1831
Size
D. funeralis - Wingspan 21-28 mm (1)
D. maculalis - Wingspan 18-24 mm (1)
Identification
Desmia funeralis and Desmia maculalis can not be reliably distinguished from a photograph and need to be physically examined.

For now we are collapsing the two species into a single page.
Range
across southern United States to California, plus northeastern states and southeastern Canada
Habitat
Deciduous forests and edges
Season
adults fly May-September
Food
Larvae feed on grape (Vitis spp.), Redbud (Cercis canadensis), and evening primrose (Oenothera spp).
Adults take nectar?
Life Cycle
two or three generations per year
Remarks
Day flying, but also comes to lights at night.
See Also
Consider this note from Bob Patterson on the Moth Photographers Group website: "A significant white spot on the head is, according to Covell, a characteristic mark of 5160 - Desmia maculalis. Brian Scholtens informs me that this is not a reliable character and that the two species cannot be distinguished in typical dorsal view photos. It would be necessary to see mouth parts at high magnification or examine genitalia to make specific determinations. It is best to consider photos of these species as representing a species group."
Several other Desmia species occur in some areas (example: Florida has 10 species) - see pinned adult images of 6 species by Jim Vargo at MPG
Also note resemblance to Forester moths (Owlet Moth family [Noctuidae], genus Alypia). This is probably a mimicry complex, since these moths and the Foresters are day-flying. Perhaps they both are mimics of a wasp?
Print References
Covell, p. 400, plate 56 #11 & #14 (1)
Himmelman, plate C-5 (2)
Internet References
Desmia funeralis:
pinned adult image (Bruce Walsh, Moths of Southeast Arizona)
pinned and live adult images by various photographers (Moth Photographers Group)
presence in California; list (U. of California at Berkeley)
Desmia maculalis
live and pinned adult images by Randy Newman and Jim Vargo respectively (Moth Photographers Group)
live adult image showing closeup of white patch on top of head (Henderson State U., Arkansas)
pinned adult image by John Glaser, plus flight season (Larry Line, Maryland)
pinned adult image (James Adams, Dalton State College, Georgia)
3 pinned adult images and collection site map (All-Leps)
presence in Texas; list (James Gillaspy, U. of Texas)
presence in California; list (U. of California at Berkeley)
status and flight season in Ohio (Ohio State U.)
presence in Ontario; list (NHIC; Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)
Works Cited
1.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.
2.Discovering Moths: Nighttime Jewels in Your Own Backyard
John Himmelman. 2002. Down East Books.