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Tribe Argyractini

moth - Petrophila confusalis Petrophila sp.? - Petrophila confusalis Unknown Moth - Petrophila fulicalis Petrophila larvae - Petrophila Moth - Petrophila, possibly fulicalis? - Petrophila fulicalis Petrophila larva - Petrophila small white moth - Petrophila moth - Petrophila bifascialis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
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
Identification
Argyractini consists of five genera (in North America) which may be distinguished as follows:
Argyractis - a single tiny whitish species in Florida.


Eoparargyractis - three species in eastern U.S.; forewing has an arched dark brown basal line; two white radiating rays in outer forewing are different widths (inner one narrower).


Neargyractis - a single species mainly on Atlantic Coast from Rhode Island to Florida; dark brown forewing with a distinctly paler AM band.


Petrophila - about 17 species across North America; most species show characteristic equal-width white rays in outer forewing; eyespots on margin of hindwing variable in number; details on hindwing often most useful for species separation. Examples:


Usingeriessa - two species of southwestern U.S.; dark gray-brown on forewings with white in postmedian band; narrow white rays on outer forewing flank a wide dark brown triangle.
Food
Algae, diatoms, plant roots.
Life Cycle
All Argyractini in North America studied thus far have aquatic larvae which live on submerged rocks or aquatic plants, feeding on algae or plant roots.(1) The females are equipped with a row of “swimming hairs” on the middle and hind tibia which presumably facilitate them entering water to lay eggs on suitable substrates.(2)
See Also
Two genera in the Nymphulini also share the characters of having white rays or wedges in the outer forewing and eyespots on the margin of the HW.
Chrysendeton: Most species show bold white blotches on the forewings.

Neocataclysta (one species): Has a white median band on forewing bordered outwardly by a sharply dentate brown PM line, and appears to have three pale wedges in the outer forewing.
Print References
Lange, W. H., Jr. 1956. Aquatic Lepidoptera. Ch. 11, In: R. L. Usinger (ed.). Aquatic Insects of California. Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley.
Munroe, E. 1972, 1973. The Moths of North America North of Mexico. Fascicle 13.1A, 13.1C. Scopariinae, Nymphulinae. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation.
Solis, M. A. 2019. Aquatic and semiaquatic Lepidoptera, pp.765-789 In: Introduction to Aquatic Insects of North America, R. W. Merritt, K.W. Cummins, and M.B. Berg (Eds.). 5th edition, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa. 1480 pp.
Works Cited
1.Aquatic and semiaquatic Lepidoptera, pp.765-789 In: Introduction to Aquatic Insects of North America
Solis, M.A. 2019. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa.
2.The Moths of North America North of Mexico. Fascicle 13.1A. Scopariinae, Nymphulinae
Eugene Munroe. 1972. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation.