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Pale Gray Bird-dropping Moth? - Antaeotricha leucillana

Pale Gray Bird-dropping Moth? - Antaeotricha leucillana
Block Island, Washington County, Rhode Island, USA
May 30, 2015
Size: 10 mm in length
Identified by comparison with and by its 10 mm total length.

Images of this individual: tag all
Pale Gray Bird-dropping Moth? - Antaeotricha leucillana Pale Gray Bird-dropping Moth? - Antaeotricha leucillana

Moved from Antaeotricha.


I find looking through your submissions quite useful:

Unless A. schlaegeri
It seems 10mm is in the length range for both species. I'm going to post to possible misidentifications about A. leucillana/schlaegeri (not your post specifically, nor the one of mine I just moved to genus). I'll let you know what the deal is.

I agree
These are a hard call even with a measurement, and this particular individual does seem to have a dark tuft more typical, apparently, of A. schlaegeri. My later submission was left at the genus level.

I've never seen them side by side (if I've even seen A. schlaegeri) but I feel like all the ones I've seen are about the same size. At any rate, after looking through all images under each species and reading all comments (especially by Bob Patterson), I think 10mm can be safely called A. leucillana. How did you measure size? I'm guessing your screen makes a 1/16" grid like mine, putting the length here around 11.5-12.0mm. I'm not sure such a size guarantees a species ID but I could be wrong. I'd leave it here for the time being.

OK. I did use the grid, but as you can see from the other image, the mesh is not square! The long sides of the rectangle are 6.0 to the cm, the short sides are 7.0 to the cm; I had assumed 7 regardless of orientation. My new estimate for length is thus 12 mm (7 squares on the long side). So I have moved the images from species to genus. In fact the dark thoracic tuft makes me think that I may have an A. schlaegeri, but I do not really know how to convert length to wingspan! Interestingly, I got another Antaeotricha sp moth in a collection from Aug 4 which I only really started to look at yesterday. This new one (see ) is a real 9 mm long (it landed on a patio chair!) and has a pale thoracic tuft. I have placed it straight into A. leucillana! I would be interested in your comments.

Huh. I should probably check mine in case
I never considered whether mine was square or not! Weirdly, Tom Murray finds A. schlaegeri specimens that are about twice as long as A. leucillana (he's seen them side by side) yet if we really do have both species they sure are close in size here! I too have wondered about wingspan to length which is why I went through submissions and posted to the moth forum. I'm still not completely sure of the ratio and I'd imagine it's quite different for different species and groups ((example: sphingid vs. geometrid).

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