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

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Dichomeris ligulella - Palmerworm Moth - Hodges#2281

Palmerworm moth - Dichomeris ligulella - male Gelechiidae, Palmerworm Moth, spent pupa - Dichomeris ligulella Palmerworm Moth - Dichomeris ligulella Palmerworm Moth - Dichomeris ligulella - male Dichomeris ligulella Dichomeris ligulella Ten-spot Honeysuckle? - Dichomeris ligulella Dichomeris ligulella
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Gelechioidea (Twirler Moths and kin)
Family Gelechiidae (Twirler Moths)
Subfamily Dichomeridinae
Genus Dichomeris
Species ligulella (Palmerworm Moth - Hodges#2281)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Dichomeris ligulella Hübner, 1818
Chaetochilus contubernalellus Fitch, 1853 (1)
Rhinocera pometella Harris, 1853 (1)
Chaetochilus malifoliellus Fitch, 1854 (1)
Ypsolophus pauciguttellus Clemens, 1863 (1)
Ypsolophus flavivittellus Clemens, 1864 (1)
Ypsolophus reedella Chambers, 1872 (1)
Ypsolophus quercipominella Chambers, 1872 (1)
Wingspan 15-18 mm. (2)
Adult - forewing elongate. Dimorphic: forewing brown in one morph, blackish with cream-colored costal streak in the other. Hindwing bluish-gray, translucent.

This dimorphism was previously (until 2020) described as being sexual here, an error replicated in Peterson’s guides and probably elsewhere. This is not accurate, and it is unclear how the misconception originated.

(3), (2)
Records from the eastern half of the United States and southeastern Canada, Texas. (4), (5), (6), (7)
Adults fly year round in the south. (4)
In northern states, adults appear in July and August.(8)
Larval hosts include apple, hackberry, hazel, oak, basswood and cherry. Larvae skeletonize leaves and sometimes fold or roll them when feeding. (2)
Life Cycle
Overwinters as an adult. Lays single eggs in the spring.
Eggs are laid on the underside of leaves. The larvae feed and skeletonize the leaves either openly or in folded/rolled leaves. Pupation occurs in these rolls or in the ground litter.(8)
Overwinter as adults.(8)
Print References
Beadle, D. & S. Leckie 2012. Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America. Houghton Mifflin. p.66-67 (preview) (3)
Covell Jr., C.V. 1984. Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America. Houghton Mifflin Company. p.437, pl.64.6 (2)
Hodges, R.W. 1986. The Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 7.1. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, p.33; pl.1.1-7 (9)
Works Cited
1.Checklist of Gelechiidae (Lepidoptera) in America North of Mexico
Lee S., Hodges R.W., Brown R.L. 2009. Zootaxa 2231: 1–39.
2.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.
3.Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America
David Beadle and Seabrooke Leckie. 2012. Houghton Mifflin.
4.North American Moth Photographers Group
5.A List of the Lepidoptera of Maine. Part 2, The Microlepidoptera. Section 1 & 2
Auburn E. Brower. 1984. Maine Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 114: 1-70.
6.Lepidoptera of the Archbold Biological Station, Highlands County, Florida
Marc C. Minno. 1992. Florida Entomologist 75: 297-329.
7.Moths of Brackenridge Field Laboratory University of Texas at Austin
8.Eastern Forest Insects
Whiteford L. Baker. 1972. U.S. Department of Agriculture · Forest Service.
9.The Moths of America North of Mexico: Fascicle 7.1, Revision of North American Gelechiidae family and...
Hodges, R. W. 1986. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation.
10.BOLD: The Barcode of Life Data Systems