Explanation of Names
ALBATA: from the Latin "alba" (white) - the overall color of the adult
wingspan 16-24 mm; female larger than male
forewing white to light gray, variably dusted and spotted with brown and black; lines obscure; AM and median lines usually more distinct; reniform spot gray with sharp black inner half
hindwing grayish-white with faint darker gray median line
[adapted from description by Charles Covell]
all of United States and southern Canada
moist mixed wood forests - and probably other habitats, considering its vast distribution
adults fly from March to October in the south; June to September in Ohio; July and August in Alberta and Quebec
larvae feed on alga called Protococcus viridis that grows on smooth bark trees like maple and birch and also grows on Shield lichens Parmelia species.
two or more generations per year in the south; one in the north (Quebec). Moisture is important to larvae. During dry periods, they with congregate under bark and become inactive. They pupate under bark or in bark crevices. Usually 2nd or 3 instar over-winter and resume feeding in early spring.
due to its small size, may be mistaken for various micromoths in the families Oecophoridae and Tortricidae; also similar to several species of geometrid moths
Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 1981, vol. 35, #1, pp. 34 to 40 by McCabe - feeds on alga