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Species Amblyptilia pica - Geranium Plume Moth - Hodges#6118

Plume moth - Amblyptilia pica Moth to ID - Amblyptilia pica 1089 Amblyptilia pica - Geranium Plume Moth 6118 - Amblyptilia pica Backlit lateral view, detail - Amblyptilia pica Geranium Plume Moth - Amblyptilia pica Plume Moth of Doorway - Amblyptilia pica - male Amblyptilia pica Amblyptilia pica
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pterophoroidea (Plume Moths)
Family Pterophoridae (Plume Moths)
Subfamily Pterophorinae
Tribe Platyptiliini
Genus Amblyptilia
Species pica (Geranium Plume Moth - Hodges#6118)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
formerly placed in genus Platyptilia
5 synonyms: Amblyptilia calisequoiae, crataea, marina, monticola, sierrae
the only species in this genus in North America listed at All-Leps
wingspan about 18 mm, based on photo by Jim Vargo at MPG
Adult: forewing brown or grayish; dark brown to blackish triangle along costa in PM area, and dark band across wing in subterminal area; several pale transverse lines along inner margin give a stippled effect (a distinctive feature); hindwing third lobe with distinct scale tooth
male genitalia are unique in having a sclerotized cucullus and bristled uncus and saccus
western North America from Alaska to California, inland to Alberta and Kansas; also occurs in northeastern states (KY, ME, MA, NH, NY, PA) and Ontario, as a greenhouse pest on geraniums
fields and meadows where larval host plants grow; commercial greenhouses
adults fly from May to October but are most numerous in summer
larvae mine the leaves and also feed on flower buds and seeds of indian paint brush (Castilleja spp.), Furbish's Lousewort (Pedicularis furbishiae), California Figwort (Scrophularia californica), Penstemon whippleanus, plus plants in the families Primulaceae, Labiatae, and Caprifoliaceae, and ornamental (greenhouse) geraniums and snapdragons
adults in early spring nectar on flowers of pussy willow (Salix spp.)
Life Cycle
overwinters as an adult
See Also
Artichoke Plume Moth (Platyptilia carduidactyla) forewing lacks "stippled effect" (several pale transverse lines) along inner margin, and usually has reddish shading in subterminal area
Internet References
pinned adult image plus description, flight season, adult and larval foodplants, biology, distribution (Strickland Entomological Museum, U. of Alberta)