Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes



Species Acentria ephemerella - Water Veneer - Hodges#5299

Water Veneer  - Acentria ephemerella - male Acentria ephemerella Moth - Acentria ephemerella stumped - Acentria ephemerella - male Small Moth - Acentria ephemerella - male Acentria? - Acentria ephemerella - male grey moth - Acentria ephemerella - male Acentria ephemerella
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pyraloidea (Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths)
Family Crambidae (Crambid Snout Moths)
Subfamily Acentropinae
Tribe Acentropini
Genus Acentria
Species ephemerella (Water Veneer - Hodges#5299)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Milfoil Moth
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
formerly Acentria nivea, Acentropus niveus, Phryganea nivea
the only species in this genus in North America
wingspan 10-17 mm
Adult females are wingless and stay on the water surface; adult males have a bare grayish thorax and satiny white or pale gray wings with slightly darkened veins and outer margin.
Occurs throughout Eurasia; introduced in eastern North America, spreading westward at least to Alberta
Larvae and adult females are aquatic; adult males are found near standing or slow-moving water containing the larval food plants, but may be attracted to light at distances far from water
Adult males fly from June to August
Larvae feed on Eurasian watermilfoil, pondweeds (Potomogeton spp.) and Canadian waterweed (Elodea canadensis).
Life Cycle
Larvae are aquatic and overwinter underwater in cases attached to milfoil leaves; females are wingless and stay on the water surface where they breed with winged males in midsummer; univoltine (one generation per year)
Native to Eurasia; introduced to North America in the 1920s. Attempts to use the larvae as biological control agents in the control of watermilfoil in North America have had mixed results.
Dr. Jean Francois Landry of the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Ottawa, Canada provides some interesting information:
"This is Acentria ephemerella, family Crambidae, subfamily Acentropinae. This is a very cool and unsual moth. It is widespread here and in Europe. Its larvae are subaquatic and feed on aquatic plants, mainly Canadian waterweed (Elodea canadensis) and pondweed (Potamogeton) up to a depth of 2m in standing or slow-moving water. Females come in two forms, one fully winged, the other with rudimentary wings and flightless. Wingless females swin below the water surface. Mating takes place on the water surface. Winged adults swarm at night, in June in our area. Adults live only a couple of days and winged ones can fly a great distance from the water."