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Species Petrophila confusalis - Confusing Petrophila - Hodges#4780

Moth - Petrophila confusalis small tan and white moth - Petrophila confusalis Moth - Petrophila confusalis Confusing Petrophila Moth - Petrophila confusalis Crambid Snout Moth - Petrophila confusalis Confusing Petrophila Moth - Petrophila confusalis Confusing Petrophila Moth - Petrophila confusalis Crambid Snout Moth - Petrophila confusalis
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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
Species confusalis (Confusing Petrophila - Hodges#4780)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Petrophila confusalis (Walker, 1866)
Cataclysta confusalis Walker, 1866 (1)
Elophila truckeealis Dyar, 1917
15 species in the genus for North America north of Mexico.(2)
forewing length 5-11 mm.
Adults have considerable size variation.(2)
Very similar and closely related to Feather-edged Petrophila, but their ranges are widely disjunct.(3) Confusing Petrophila differs in the following subtle ways(3):
-- Center of the "discal bar" on the forewing (two short dark lines in the postmedian area) is white or pale buff instead of orange.
-- Thin black and white lines just in front of the orange tornal wedge are more prominent than on fulicalis.
-- More often than not, the thin dark capline of the hindwing marginal spots arches over the second spot high enough to touch or blend into the PM speckled area.(3)
California to southern British Columbia and east to Nevada, Idaho, and Montana.(4)
Previous descriptions of the range which included eastern North America are in error and are based on the name confusalis being "applied vaguely to one or another of the eastern species".(4) Powell and Opler's statement that the species was described from "eastern" North America seems to be in error.(2) The type locality in Walker's description is just "North America".(1)
Larvae feed on algae on rocks in fast moving streams. See "An introduction to the aquatic insects of North America" in internet references below)
Life Cycle
Adult females enter the water, up to 4 meters deep, to oviposit (200 - 300 eggs), carrying a plastronlike layer of air as a source of oxygen that sustains them from 4 to 12 hours. After ovipositing they die in the water. Some females only submerge partially, without fully breaking the water tension, and deposit eggs shallowly over several days. (2)
Print References
Dyar, H. G. 1917: Notes on North American Nymphulinae (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae). – Insecutor Inscitiae Menstruus, Washington 5 (4–6): 76.
Powell, J. A. & P. A. Opler, Moths of Western North America, pl. 23.48m; p. 180.(2)
Sexton, C. 2021. Identification and Distribution of the Petrophila fulicalis species group (Crambidae): Taking Advantage of Citizen Science Data. J. Lep. Soc. 75(2):113-127.(3)
Walker, F. 1865. List of specimens of Lepidopterous insects in the the collection of the British Museum. Part 34:1334 (1)
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - range map, photos of living and pinned adults.
Moth Photographers Group - photograph of pinned adult and related species for comparison.