Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Alucitidae - Many-plume Moths

Montana Six-plume Moth -  - Alucita montana Montana Six-plume Moth - Hodges#2313 - Alucita montana Alucitidae: Alucita - Alucita Montana Six-plume Moth - Hodges#2313 - Alucita montana chironomid ? - Alucita moth - Alucita Alucitidae: Alucita montana - Alucita montana Many-plume Moth - Alucita montana
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Alucitoidea (Many-plume Moths)
Family Alucitidae (Many-plume Moths)
Explanation of Names
Alucitidae is from the type genus Alucita, Latin meaning "gnat." (1)
wingspan 10-15 mm
Adult: wings consist of unusual and diagnostic feather-like plumes (rigid spines from which radiate flexible bristles), normally spread apart like a fan when the moth is at rest; there are six plumes per wing, for a total of twenty-four

Larva: body pink, hides inside flowers of host plant, and pupates in a delicate fish-net cocoon
[Jeremy Tatum, Butterflies and Moths of Vancouver Island]
Quebec and northeastern states to Florida, west to California, north to British Columbia and Northwest Territories [see genus page for distribution of the 3 North American species]
also represented in Europe and several regions of the world
adults fly early in the evening or any time on cloudy days, and may sometimes be found in homes fluttering at windows
adults fly in spring and again in late summer/fall
larvae are borers in fruits, flowers, buds, or stems of host plant
larvae feed on honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) and snowberry (Symphoricarpos spp.), both of which are in the family Caprifoliaceae
Two new species were described by Bernard and Jean-François Landry in 2004, bringing the North American species total to three, none of which is Alucita hexadactyla (see Internet References section below).
See Also
Plume moths, Pterophoridae
Print References
Landry, B. & J. Landry. 2004. The genus Alucita in North America, with description of two new species (Lepidoptera: Alucitidae). The Canadian Entomologist. 136: 553-579. (2)
Internet References
adult image of "A. hexadactyla" from Colorado (Larry Line, Mostly Moths of Maryland)
presence in Ontario; list of "A. hexadactyla" (NHIC; Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)
presence in Florida; list of "A. hexadactyla" (Michael Thomas, Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
presence in California; list of "A. hexadactyla" (U. of California at Berkeley)
Works Cited
1.An accentuated list of the British Lepidoptera, with hints on the derivation of the names.
Anonymous. 1858. The Entomological Societies of Oxford and Cambridge.
2.The genus Alucita in North America, with description of two new species (Lepidoptera: Alucitidae)
Bernard Landry, Jean-François Landry. 2004. The Canadian Entomologist 136(4): 553-579.