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Genus Petrophila

Unknown Moth - Petrophila canadensis Moth - Petrophila, possibly fulicalis? - Petrophila fulicalis Petrophilia sp. - Petrophila fulicalis Petrophila fulicalis?  - Petrophila fulicalis Moth to blacklight - Petrophila jaliscalis Small moth with elevated wings - Petrophila confusalis Petrophila sp? - Petrophila jaliscalis Kearfott's Petrophila Moth - Petrophila kearfottalis - Petrophila kearfottalis
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 Argyractini
Genus Petrophila
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Petrophila Guilding, 1830
synonym Cataclysta Hübner, 1825
synonym Parargyractis Lange, 1956
17 species in North America
wingspan 11-24 mm
Adult: often holds forewings partly open at rest, revealing row of silver-patched black spots along outer margin of hindwings; forewing whitish to light brown with yellow to orangish transverse bands and grayish-brown speckling
most of United States and southern Canada
larvae are aquatic, living within a silken web in fast-flowing streams; adults may be flushed during the day from nearby vegetation but are nocturnal and attracted to light
adults fly from June to September in the north; probably an extended season in the south
larvae scrape diatoms and other algae from rocks in streams
Life Cycle
adult females enter the water to oviposit, carrying a plastronlike layer of air as a source of oxygen (1)
The general pattern of dark "eyespots" on the HW with radiating white and color rays on the FW has been hypothesizd as being mimicry of Salticid jumping spiders.
See Also
Neargyractis and Eoparargyractis species are similar; see the Argyractini page for an overview of the five genera in this tribe.
Print References
Heppner, J. B., 1976. Synopsis of the genus Parargyractis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae: Nymphulinae) in Florida. Florida Entom. 59(1):5-19.(2) ["Parargyractis" is now Petrophila.]
Lange, W. H., Jr., 1956. A generic revision of the aquatic moths of North America (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae, Nymphulinae). Wasmann J. Biol. 14:59-144.(3)
Munroe, E., 1972. In: Dominick, R. B., et al., The Moths of North America North of Mexico, Fasc. 13.1A, Pyraloidea, Pyralidae (Part). Classey Limited, London.(4)
Sexton, C. W., 2021. Identification and Distribution of the Petrophila fulicalis species group (Crambidae): Taking Advantage of Citizen Science Data. J. Lep. Soc. 75(2):113-127.(5)
Solis, M. Alma, 2019. Aquatic and semiaquatic Lepidoptera, pp.765-789 In: Introduction to Aquatic Insects of North America, R. W. Merritt, K.W. Cummins, and M.B. Berg (Eds.). 5th ed., Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa..(6)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.
2.Synopsis of the genus Parargyracytis (Lepidoptera: Pyralydae: Nymphulinae) in Florida
John B. Heppner. 1976. The Florida Entomologist, volume 59, number 1.
3.A generic revision of the aquatic moths of North America: (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae, Nymphulinae).
W. H. Lange, Jr. 1956. Wasmann J. Biol., 14:59-144.
4.The Moths of North America North of Mexico. Fascicle 13.1A. Scopariinae, Nymphulinae
Eugene Munroe. 1972. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation.
5.Identification and Distribution of the Petrophila fulicalis species group (Crambidae): Taking Advantage of Citizen Science Data
Sexton, C. Journal of the Lepidopterists Society 75(2):113-127.
6.Aquatic and semiaquatic Lepidoptera, pp.765-789 In: Introduction to Aquatic Insects of North America
Solis, M.A. 2019. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa.