Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Platyptilus bertrami Rossler 1864
Platyptilus bischoffi Zeller 1867
Pterophorus marginidactylus Fitch 1854
Pterophorus nebulaedactylus Fitch 1854
Pterophorus cervinidactylus Packard 1873
Platyptilus adustus Walsingham 1880
one of two species in this genus listed at All-Leps
and Debbie Matthews' Pterophoridae of North America
wingspan 23-27 mm. 11 to 13 mm long.
Wings: Light tan with white blotches, and dark brown speckles. The dark form appears to be from Europe and Russia. (See Wiki Commons). Outer (costal) margin has narrow dark brown, broken line. On inner margin, dark line near base, another long line at mid wing. Brown spot at mid wing, Dark brown speckles at 2/3 wing length, from middle to costal edge. Wing tips pointed, smudged brownish, with a faint yellowish diagonal line. Fringe white. Hindwings yellowish-brown. Legs: White, except thighs (femora) brownish.
Abdomen: Light tan, dotted slightly darker tan down middle, intermittent.
holarctic: widespread throughout North America and Eurasia
dry or sandy waste ground and similar habitats; adults hide in low foliage during the day, becoming active at dusk, and are attracted to light
adults fly in June and July
larvae feed on yarrow
spp.) and possibly tansy
spp.); also Ragwort and Groundsel (Senecio)
Larvae bore into stems of plants in the fall when half-grown to overwinter, moving back up to new growth in the spring. Larva dark olive-green, with two dark stripes; head small, shiny, more yellowish with brown marks. Hardly any hair or tufts. Later instars are lighter green with white stripes – 3 dorsal and one wider on each side. These stripes eventually turn purple.
Mature larva become more brownish-green with two grayish-white stripes on sides. Spiracles become black. Below the spiracles, a wide whitish stripe. Pupa pale green with darker dorsal stripe, partly edged with white.
page creation based on Debbie Matthews' identification of this image
Holotype as Alucita pallidactyla by Haworth, 1811. Type Locality: Great Britain. Type lost. Haworth’s collection was sold off over several days at auction.
Holotype as Platyptilus bertrami by Rossler, 1864. Type Locality: Germany. In the Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Germany.
Holotype as Platyptilus bischoffi by Zeller, 1867. Type Locality: Unknown. In the British Museum of Natural History, London, England.
Syntype as Pterophorus marginidactylus and P. nebulaedactylus by Fitch, 1854. Type Locality: New York. In the United States National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C. No photos.
Holotype as Pterophorus cervinidactylus male by Packard, 1873. Type Locality: California. In the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Type #1785, right wings and abdomen missing.
Holotype as Platyptilus adustus by Walsingham, 1880. Type Locality: California. In the British Museum of Natural History, London, England.
Lepidoptera Britannica, 1811, Part 3 by Haworth, pg. 478: Not Available.
First and Second Report on the noxious beneficial and other insects of the state of New York, 1856 by Fitch, pp. 848-849.
Wiener Entomologische Monatschrift, 1864, Vol. 8 by Rossler, pg. 54.
Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung, 1867, Vol. 28 by Zeller, pp. 333-334.
Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York, 1874, Vol. 10 by Packard, pp. 266-267.
Pterophoridae of California and Oregon, 1880 by Walsingham, pp. 5-6.
Contributions to the Natural History of Lepidoptera of North America, 1917, Vol. 4 by Barnes & McDunnough, pp. 342-346.
Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, 1923, Memoir #68 by Forbes, pp. 642-643.
live adult images
by Chris Harlow and Gianpiero Ferrari, plus habitat, flight season, foodplants (UK Moths)
pinned adult image
(Kimmo and Seppo Silvonen, Finland)
links to images
a few of which are now broken (Debbie Matthews, Pterophoridae of North America)
plus foodplants, world distribution map, and links to images (Markku Savela, FUNET)