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Longhorned Fairy Moth - Adela caeruleella - male - female

Longhorned Fairy Moth - Adela caeruleella - Male Female
Durham County, North Carolina, USA
May 10, 2004
Size: circa 5 mm
A male and female of the same species on a blackberry, Rubus, flower. Female (dark, shorter, bicolored antennae) is on left, male (brown, longer antennae) is on right. (See caption to other image for reference on gender.) The darker individual (female) was scared up by my approach and flew onto some poison ivy, where I was able to get a closer shot.

Both Brimley (1) and the North Carolina State Entomology Collection family Incurvariidae lists just genus Adela (from subfamily Adelinae in that classification) and just one species, A. caeruleella (syn. bella). Brimley lists A. bella from Raleigh (near Durham) in April and May. So this is likely Adela caeruleella.

Images of this individual: tag all
Longhorned Fairy Moth - Adela caeruleella - female Longhorned Fairy Moth - Adela caeruleella - male - female Longhorned Fairy Moth - Adela caeruleella - female

Moved from Adela.

The only eastern-USA Adela that is purple with no white markings on the forewing is A. caeruleella (formerly known as A. bella).

Fairy Moth?
Moths (at least males) in the family Adelidae have very long antennae, some with a hairy base as in your photo. A couple of shots from Canada (1, 2), the second one showing banding on the legs, similar to your closeup shot.

Am liking Adelidae
With all due respect to Troy, I am liking the Adelidae theory. I found several more photos on the web that resemble these critters.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

Good info
I may have been off base about the caddisflies. Those are some long antennae!

With long antennae like that...
I would consider longhorned caddisflies. It's neat how the one has dark pigment at the base of the antennae. The darker one definitely has the general wing shape that I associate with caddisflies.

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