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Species Adaina ambrosiae - Ragweed Plume Moth - Hodges#6160

Caterpillar - Adaina ambrosiae Pterophoridae, larva - Adaina ambrosiae Pterophoridae, larva - Adaina ambrosiae Adaina ambrosiae Ragweed Plume Moth, pupa - Adaina ambrosiae Ragweed Plume Moth, spent pupal case - Adaina ambrosiae Adaina ambrosiae caterpillar on Ambrosia trifida  - Adaina ambrosiae Adaina ambrosiae caterpillar on Ambrosia trifida, shown with leaf markings - Adaina ambrosiae
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pterophoroidea (Plume Moths)
Family Pterophoridae (Plume Moths)
Subfamily Pterophorinae
Tribe Pterophorini
Genus Adaina
Species ambrosiae (Ragweed Plume Moth - Hodges#6160)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Murtfeldt 1880
Oedematophorus ambrosiae, Alucita ambrosiae, Oedematus ambrosia, Pterophorus ambrosiae, Pterophorus perplexus
Explanation of Names
The specific name, ambrosiae, is a reference to one of this species' host plants, Ambrosia sp. - Ragweed.
6 spp per Nearctica
7 mm long. Wingspan 14-17 mm.
Wings: Narrower than other Plume Moths. Forewings brownish-clay, mixed with dark speckles, darker at tips and along inner margin. Two dark dashes on costa (outer) margin near wing tip, with white area in between. Dark brown heavily speckled spot in center at mid wing. Gray fringe between the two lobes at wing tip, may appear as a streak. Hindwings shiny ash-gray.
Abdomen: Whitish to brownish-clay. A row of black dots and black inverted V, sometimes with white outline on middle segments. Underside has central stripe.
California to Florida to Ontario.
Forest edges, meadows.
Nearly year round in Florida (1); August and September in the north.
Ragweed, Ambrosia spp.; Black-eyed Susan, Sunflower (Helianthus) and other Asteraceae
For most hosts, see: World catalogue of insects
Life Cycle
Females lay translucent whitish eggs on underside of leaves. Larva skeletonize the leaves at night, and rest in a depression along the mid rib during the day. 8 mm long. Pale green to greenish-yellow with long tufts of white hairs. Small, light brown head with shield covering. Shield has series of black dots. Two light brown spots side-by-side down center of all segments; a triangle of black dots on each side, one dot larger. Legs are very short. 3 to 5 instars mature in about 16 to 18 days. Turns from green to violet, then white before pupating. Pupa attached to usually same leaf used for feeding by silken pad; greenish-white with a series of brownish marks and a large black-brown patch at top.
Larva; larva; pupa; adult
Holotype as Oedematophorus ambrosiae by Murtfeldt, 1880. Locality: Missouri. In Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Lectotype as Pterophorus perplexus male by Grossbeck, 1917. Type Locality: Florida. In the American Museum of Natural History, New York, N. Y. Note: Types chosen as labeled, but not published by the author.
Print References
American Entomologist. An Illustrated magazine, 1880, Vol. 1, #12, pg. 236 by Mary Murtfeldt.
Proceedings of the National Science Club for Women, 1896 by Murtfeldt: Not Available
Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 1917, Vol. 37 by Grossbeck, pp. 136-137.
Contributions to the Natural History of the Lepidoptera of North America, 1917, Vol. 4 by Barnes and McDunnough, pp. 371-372.
Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, 1923, Memoir #68 by Forbes, pp. 651-652.
Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 1976, Vol. 52 #3 by Goeden & Ricker, pp. 251-255.
Internet References
Adaina ambrosiae – 6160 - Moth Photographers Group
Works Cited
1.The Lepidoptera of Florida: An Annotated Checklist.
Charles P. Kimball. 1965. Florida Dept. of Ag. Gainesville, FL. v + 363 pp.